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Press Release

    FreedomWorks Joins Huge Coalition Letter on Property Rights

    The Honorable Bill Frist
    Senate Majority Leader
    United States Senate
    Washington, DC 20510

    May 2, 2006

    Dear Majority Leader Frist:

    In June of last year, the property rights movement and every American suffered a
    monumental setback due to the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Kelo v. City of New London. The decision stated that private lands could be confiscated for private economic
    development by the government. Immediately, property rights organizations, advocacy groups and everyday citizens of every socioeconomic, political and ideological background united to stand as one in defense of their Constitutional protection of private property.

    Many state legislatures debated this year and passed legislation to limit their state and local government’s abuse of eminent domain. The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed H.R. 4128, the “Private Property Rights Protection Act of 2005” in early November by a vote of 376-38. This legislation seeks to curb eminent domain abuse by withholding all federal economic development funds from states and localities that engage in these practices for a period of two (2) years. As you know, a bipartisan group of legislators ranging from House Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) to Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) was able to co-sponsor this legislation and send the measure to the Senate. Unfortunately, this legislation has mired in the Senate Judiciary Committee, without a future hearing scheduled.

    We, the undersigned organizations wish to express our support for Senate legislation to reform the type of abuse witnessed last summer in Connecticut, with property protections equal to that of H.R. 4128. Because of this legislation’s adherence to the property rights provisions of the Fifth Amendment, we encourage the Senate to pass legislation to once again protect private property owners across America.

    The freedoms enshrined by the Framers of the Constitution over two hundred years ago must be once again upheld and protected by Congress today. The passage of this type of legislation is an essential milestone in reaffirming the rights of American property owners.

    Sincerely,
    60+ Association, Jim Martin, President
    Alabama Policy Institute, Gary Palmer, President
    American Association of Small Property Owners, Pat Callahan, President
    American Conservative Union, David Keene, Chairman
    American Family Business Institute, Dick Patten, Executive Director
    American Farm Bureau Federation, Mark Maslyn, Director of Public Policy
    American Land Rights Association, Chuck Cushman, President
    Americans for Limited Government, John Tillman, President
    Americans for Prosperity, Tim Phillips, President
    Americans for Tax Reform, Grover Norquist, President
    American Shareholders Association, Dan Clifton, Executive Director
    Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions, Chris Derry, President
    California Alliance to Protect Private Property Rights, Marko Mlikotin, President
    Center for Individual Freedom, Jeffrey Mazzella, President
    Citizen Outreach, Doug Bandow, Vice President of Policy (for identification purposes)
    Citizens for Limited Taxation, Barbara Anderson, President
    Commonwealth Foundation, Matthew Brouillette, President
    Competitive Enterprise Institute, Myron Ebell, Director, Energy and Global Warming Policy
    Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, Thomas Schatz, President
    Defenders of Property Rights, Nancie Marzulla, President
    Eagle Forum, Phyllis Schlafly, President and Founder
    Ethan Allen Institute, John McClaughry, President
    Evergreen Freedom Foundation, Bob Williams, President (identification purposes only)
    FreedomWorks, Matt Kibbe, President
    Frontiers of Freedom, George Landrith, President
    Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, Richard Rowland, President
    Illinois Policy Institute, Greg Blankenship, President
    Independence Institute, Jon Caldara, President
    James Madison Institute, J. Robert McClure, III, President
    Liberty Coalition, Michael Ostrolenk, President
    Maryland Taxpayers Alliance, Richard Falknor, President
    Mississippi Center for Public Policy, Forest Thigpen, President
    Missouri Citizens for Property Rights, Ron Calzone, Chairman
    Missouri First, Bruce Hillis, Director
    Montana Policy Institute, Lisa Hazlett, Founder
    National Center for Public Policy Research, David Ridenour, Vice President
    National Taxpayers Union, Kristina Rasmussen, Senior Government Affairs Manager
    Nevada Policy Research Institute, Steven B. Miller, Policy Director
    Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, Mark Nichols, President
    Pacific Research Institute, Sally Pipes, President
    Property Rights Alliance, Scott A. LaGanga, Executive Director
    Property Rights Alliance: Hawaii, Walt Harvey, President
    Public Research Institute, Don Racheter, President
    Reason Foundation, Geoffrey Segal, Director of Government Reform
    Republican Liberty Caucus, William Westmiller, President
    Rio Grande Foundation, Paul Gessing, President
    Small Business Entrepreneurship Council, Karen Kerrigan, President
    South Carolina Landowners Association, Mark Nix, Executive Director
    South Carolina Policy Council, Ed McMullen, President
    Tennessee Center for Policy Research, Drew Johnson, President
    The Maine Heritage Policy Center, William Becker, President
    The Rutherford Institute, John W. Whitehead, President
    Virginia Institute for Public Policy, John Taylor, President
    Cc: All United States Senators