June 23, 2006

Deadline Day Updated Post (LATEST–TENTATIVE DEAL!); Map and Links to All Previous Posts

June 26 (pending) — Barriers to a Finalized Deal Remain

Unhappy Anniversary: Today, June 23, is the anniversary of the Kelo v. New London Supreme Court ruling. New London-specific info will be updated throughout the day below, and this post will stay at or near the top today.

11:50 p.m. — Signing off. Thanks to all who visited. All in all, this has to be seen as a pretty decent day for property-rights advocates.

11:45 p.m.The Associated Press report by the chronically biased Jennifer Loven quotes Senator Cornyn as saying the scope of the Executive Order is limited, while Reuters plays it pretty straight. Loven also characterizes the takings issue as a conservative (“particularly in the west”) vs. liberal (“an important tool for urban renewal projects”).

11:35 p.m. — Caught the issuance of Bush’s Executive Order during the outage. Good news, and possibly extremely good news. It should mean that the federal government won’t engage in “public purpose” (vs. “public use”) eminent domain proceedings. I’m not clear as to whether this would extend itself to any project in which federal aid is involved but which is administered by another governmental entity, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t.

11:30 p.m. — See the last para added to the 10 p.m. excerpt (had an outage for about an hour from 10:20 – 11:20 — apologies for the inconvenience). Ms. Kelo is saying she has to “go,” which to me would indicate that she gets her home, but it won’t be in parcel 4A. I still like my 5 p.m. theory that she’s going to have her house moved next to Cristofaro’s.

10:00 p.m. — Remember that the operative word is TENTATIVE. The AP report from later this evening has additional comments from Susette Kelo and Mike Cristofaro:

Later Friday, Kelo disputed the characterization of the deal and described the status of discussions as: “There’s talks. That’s it.”

….. Michael Cristofaro, Pasquale’s son, praised Rell and the Department of Economic and Community Development for trying to find a fair solution. However, he said he’s still not sure about the outcome.

“There’s a lot of details in the negotiations that we haven’t totally agreed on and we’re working on those,” he said. “When Susette and I make our statements next week, I think everyone will be pleased with the results that the state has come up with.”

Cristofaro acknowledged the tentative agreement could still fall through.

“Anything can happen in New London,” he said. “I just don’t want to jinx it. The state is really working hard to work something out with us.”

….. “I think Governor Rell has great faith that there’s going to be a resolution to this nightmare,” Kelo said Friday. “It’s not positive for me because I’ve got to go. I’m not happy about it.”

5:00 p.m.The latest AP dispatch (backup link here) has this:

(Connecticut) House Minority Leader Robert Ward, who is familiar with parts of the proposed settlement, said tentative plans include moving Kelo’s house.

Kelo has been okay with having her house moved for quite some time. The original idea was to move Kelo’s AND Cristofaro’s house to an area inside Parcel 4A (see map below). My theory is that they’re now talking about moving her next to Cristofaro’s place (which would not be moved, and is by far more difficult to move than Kelo’s house). The people next to Cristofaro (Beyer) settled in early June, so that property will be torn down, and Kelo’s house could be moved onto the vacant lot. Both homes would then be in the same cluster with the high-powered, politically-connected Italian Dramatic Club.

2:10 p.m. — You have to wonder the referendum petition campaign, which on Monday submitted what appeared to be many more than enough signatures to get a citywide vote on evicting the holdouts on the ballot, had any influence on the settlement proceedings. If this New London Day online poll (still in progress) is any indication, the referendum to prevent eviction, if allowed, would have passed bigtime (access to the poll probably requires New London Day registration):


The 70% or so sentiment against city plans and positions is consisent with previous Day polls (here [third topic at link] and here) on Kelo-related matters. (Note: The final result was 307 yes, 107 no; I believe the poll may have ended early on June 24 because of the news of the tentative settlement on June 23.)

1:00 p.m. — Here’s an excerpt from the AP report that moved over the wires at about 12:30, that has a portion of Governor Rell’s statement The Day didn’t have:

Details of the deal were not released. The matter should be wrapped up by June 30, Rell said in a written statement.

“From the beginning I have consistently fought for fairness and accommodation with the Fort Trumbull residents,” Rell said. “Today’s announcement is proof that working together and negotiating in good faith can benefit everyone involved – the city of New London, the state of Connecticut and the residents of the Fort Trumbull peninsula.”

Can’t resist a bit of a needle here — The AP just can’t get away from their “water thing.” Previous AP reports erroneously described the holdouts’ homes as “riverfront” or “waterfront” properties. Today’s report in unexcerpted text describes the homes as being in a “riverfront neighborhood.” When you see the map below, you’ll see that the water is pretty far away from where the homes are, or were. AP’s description is only correct if you include the areas to the south and east as part of the “neighborhood” — a pretty questionable call, in my opinion.

12:30 p.m. — I suspect we won’t hear much that is truly new for the rest of the day, but this post will stay at the top and will be the last one of the day, just in case.

12 NoonThis sounds very promising, based on the statements from Scott Bullock and Governor Rell, that Kelo and the Cristofaros are going to get their wish to keep, and own, their homes –

Kelo and Cristofaros Reach Tentative Agreement

The last two plaintiffs in the Fort Trumbull eminent domain case have reached a tentative agreement, it was announced this morning.

Details of the tentative agreement between the city and Susette Kelo and Pasquale Cristofaro were not released.

Scott Bullock of The Institute for Justice, which represents the plaintiffs, released this statement:

“Due to the extraordinary efforts of the State of Connecticut, I am happy to report that a tentative agreement has been reached in principle on behalf of Susette Kelo and the Cristofaro family that takes into account the homeowners’ attachment to their homes in the Fort Trumbull neighborhood. We understand that a final agreement must be executed by Friday, June 30 and we expect a final agreement to be signed by that date. Susette and the Cristofaros look forward to making a statement about the agreement once it is final.”

Gov. M. Jodi Rell said in a prepared statement: “I want to thank Ms. Kelo and Mr. Cristofaro for their willingness to talk and ultimately settle this battle that has gone on so long. At the same time, I want to stress that everyone has agreed that Friday, June 30, is the final, final date for tying up any loose ends and this matter will be closed once and for all.

“It is fitting that we can make this announcement on the first anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling in Kelo.”

9:00 a.m. — From the actual article in The Day (will require registration after one day and paid subscription after seven days):

Scott Bullock, the Institute for Justice senior attorney representing the plaintiffs, said at one point Thursday that he expected to reach an agreement with the city, but later announced no resolution had been reached.

“With an agreement, there has to be two meetings of the minds, and that hasn’t happened,” he said. “We’re making substantial progress.”

Meanwhile, state Department of Economic and Community Development Deputy Commissioner Ronald Angelo Jr. said he could not make a statement, but expected to release some information today. He would not say whether the state’s additional money for settlements was still on the table.

7:00 a.m. — AP via New London Day — Governor’s Deadline Passes with no Apparent Deal:

Michael (Cristofaro) told The Day there was an offer on the table, but “it’s not even close to what we want.”

(Susette) Kelo wasn’t budging.

“I’m still here, and that’s where I want to be, and hopefully where I get to stay,” she said.


This post has links to all entries and a status map relating to the Kelo-New London standoff since early August 2005, when the town’s City Council and the New London Development Corporation began efforts to evict the Kelo holdouts.



The image of the area from Google maps is dated. Most of the properties in the area have been razed, but the placements of the various properties involved in recent settlements, the remaining holdouts, and the high-powered, politically-connected Italian Dramatic Club are accurate:


Kelo and Cristofaro remain in their homes, pending eviction and demolition, or settlement. The high-powered, politically-connected Italian Dramatic Club (IDC) also remains, but will stay right where it is. That’s because the high-powered, politically-connected IDC, which you will notice is right next door to Cristofaro’s home, was arbitrarily exempted from eminent domain by the City of New London and The New London Development Corporation (NLDC) in the late 1990s. The Supreme Court rendered its outrageous Kelo v. New London decision last year in full knowledge of the exception made for the high-powered, politically-connected IDC by the powers that be. (I am emphasizing the treatment of the high-powered, politically-connected Italian Dramatic Club because I believe it remains the dirtiest and most inexcusably underreported aspect of this entire corrupt enterprise.)

Click “more” if on the home page to see posts from before June 17.


Quote of the Day: on Proposed Federal Legislation Relating to Credit Freezes

From a report by Jeffrey Kosseff at Newhouse News Service:

Eighteen states allow consumers to place a freeze on their credit, according to Consumers Union. A freeze prevents identity thieves from starting new lines of credit in their names.

The federal proposal, the Financial Data Protection Act, would override those state laws and allow consumers to freeze their credit only after they have been the victims of identity theft.

“That’s like saying you can’t wear a seat belt until you’ve been in a car crash,” said Ed Mierzwinski, consumer program director for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.

They Think Know They’re Above the Law, and Above the Mere Mortals Responsible for National Security

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:00 am

How else to react to The New York Times’ sweeping exposure of an effective law-enforcement tool against terror?

And hold the story when the government requests it? Please — who are they? They’re only responsible for keeping us safe. How dare they interfere with “journalism”?

I fail to see any public benefit to exposing the successful monitoring of the world financial system to detect the flow of money to and between terrorists. I see lots of downside in failing to detect terror activities.

Who wants to argue that we’re not less safe now than we were 24 hours ago?

This is covered like a blanket at Michelle Malkin, Hot Air, NRO’s Media Blog, Ankle Biting Pundits, Patterico, Iowa Voice, Sister Toldjah, Protein Wisdom, and others too numerous to mention.

UPDATE: Heavyweight weigh-ins come from Captain Ed, Atlas Shrugs, and Don Surber. And Michelle Malkin is running a thread of e-mails to The Times that you can bet The Times won’t print. Also, she’s displaying Photoshop jobs on the topic at the end of this post.

UPDATE 2: Don Luskin makes a HUGE point about Times Editor Bill Keller’s key sentence defending his paper’s actions. Here’s Keller:

“We remain convinced that the administration’s extraordinary access to this vast repository of international financial data, however carefully targeted use it may be, is a matter of public interest,” said Bill Keller, the Times’ executive editor.

Luskin says:

Note that he’s talking about “the administration’s” access to the data, not government’s access. In other words, if any story can colorably create the impression that this administration — this Republican administration — is abusing information on citizens, then the “public interest” in the Times making that argument overrides all other considerations of protecting the life and limb of those same citizens.

Don, I think it’s worse than that. As far as The Times is concerned, there is no distinction between “the government” and “the administration.” To them, George Bush is in charge of an (unrestrained, as far as they’re concerned) “administration” that has its hands on all the levers of power and has to be defeated, so a more acceptable (to them) administration (again unrestrained, but that’s okay because a different administration would be “doing good”) can be installed. Nothing else matters.

UPDATE 3: Andrew McCarthy at National Review lays out the ugly truth:

The blunt reality here is that there is a war against the war. It is the jihad of privacy fetishists whose self-absorption knows no bounds. Pleas rooted in the well-being of our community hold no sway.

The anti-warriors know only the language of self-interest. It is the language that tells them the revelation of the nation’s secrets will result, forthwith, in the demand for the revelation of their secrets — which is to say, their sources in the intelligence community — with incarceration the price of resistance. It is the language admonishing that even journalists themselves may be prosecuted when their publication of national secrets violates the law.

Bluntly, officials who leak the classified information with which they have been entrusted can be prosecuted for theft of government property. If the information is especially sensitive, they can be prosecuted for violating the Espionage Act. In either event, the press has no legal right to protect such lawlessness.

That is our simple choice: Strong medicine we will either take or persist in declining … while resigning ourselves to more of the same.

UPDATE 4, June 25: New York Times editor Bill Keller published an incredibly weak defense of the Times’ decision to publish, which among other things proves that The Times sees no difference between “the administration” and “the government.” Hugh Hewitt does a thorough fisking, while Paul at Wizbang gives us the Cliff’s Notes version — “Dear Reader:
1) We have no reason to believe the program was illegal in any way. 2) We have every reason to believe it was effective at catching terrorists. 3) We ran the story anyway, screw you.”

UPDATE 5, June 25: Hewitt also links and excerpts an excellent letter to The Times from a milblogging soldier, who nails down a critical factor Mr. Keller “somehow” failed to mention — our soldiers’ safety: “Thank you for continually contributing to the deaths of my fellow soldiers. You guys definitely provide a valuable service with your paper. Why without you how would terrorists stay one step ahead of us?”

Bizzy’s AM Coffee Biz-Econ-Life Links (062306)

Free Links:

  • Personal Income went up 1.4% in the first quarter of 2006 after going up 1.9% in the fourth quarter of 2005. That 3.3% total is a lot more than inflation plus population growth during those six months.
  • The heat is on Dominique Villepin in France, and he may resign — cry me a river. Not that I would expect much of an improvement, but there’s a special place in the Hall of Shame for the guy who doublecrossed Colin Powell at the UN in the runup to the Iraq War.
  • The SOB Alliance has been all over the story about the released illegals in Ohio (Weapons of Mass Discussion, Lincoln Logs, Project Logic, and one or two others I couldn’t quickly track down), and so has Debbie Schlussel, so I don’t have to be. I can just seethe like everyone else.
  • Tell me how why this doesn’t stink (HT Porkopolis). And if you think I’m going to spend precious credibility trying to defend these Republicans based on what I know, you’re in the wrong place. I just hope they can explain themselves, and I am not at all optimistic.
  • Speaking of things that stink, the three Democrats and their relatives discussed here deserve equal scrutiny, and will likely not get it.
  • We’re a darn wealthy nation (HT Willisms).
  • Economic ho-hum report — 485 new jobs (though I would be happier if it had been done without the tax credits and abatments noted in the full article):

    Pennsylvania company to create 485 jobs in northeast Ohio

    WARREN, Ohio – Promotional material maker Leedsworld Inc. plans to add 485 jobs over the next five years in this northeast Ohio city.

    The New Kensington, Pa.-based company that makes things such as stationary and pens for corporations plans to open a 265,000-square-foot plant in Warren next month at a former Delphi Packard Electric location. The company said 105 jobs are expected to be created the first year.

    The company picked the location because it’s only 100 miles from its headquarters near Pittsburgh where 1,000 people work, Martin Vuono, the company’s chief financial officer, said Wednesday.

  • Somehow I don’t think Oracle’s Larry Ellison has a check in the mail (June 28 update: he has officially reneged, as the gift was apparently based on Larry Summers continued presence as Harvard President; Summers announced his resignation in February) –

    Harvard says no sight of Ellison’s $115 million
    Wed Jun 21, 2006 5:37 PM ET

    BOSTON, June 21 (Reuters) – Harvard is still waiting for software billionaire Larry Ellison to make good on a $115 million pledge, a year after he announced what would have been the largest single contribution in the university’s history.

    Harvard said on Wednesday it hasn’t received a cent from the flamboyant founder and chief executive of software giant Oracle Corp. and that school officials have spent months trying to reach him to discuss the matter — without success.

    “Larry Ellison never paid us. The donation was never finalized,” said Harvard spokeswoman Sarah Friedell.

    The university has laid off three people it had hired to help run the proposed institute for health research as it waits for the funds promised by Ellison.

    Given the reneging noted in the update, one would expect that Ellison will reimburse the university for the costs of the three people involved while Harvard employed them, plus some transition money for each. I suspect that this will not occur.

Positivity: The World War II “Sherwood Forest” Story of Allied Airmen Who Survived in Occupied France

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:45 am

This is a short excerpt from a much longer and excellent article about how hundreds of airmen shot down over France during World War II survived: