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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.

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