November 30, 2006
Michael Ratner offers contributions (Lopez, etc.), office for meeting
Somebody explain to us how Michael Ratner avoids criticism over his Atlantic Yards connections?
Sure, he's a favorite son of the Left, champion of constitutional rights.
But, he's also: * part owner of the NJ Nets, a team that's slated to move into an arena to be built on property seized via eminent domain (a Fifth Amendment abuse), * the main political donor for the Brooklyn operation of the family real estate empire, and * even lets his office be used for Atlantic Yards project-planning meetings between City Planning officials, Frank Gehry's studio and Forest City Ratner employees.
Norman Oder uncovers yet more donations made by Michael Ratner and his wife Karen Ranucci (remember, Bruce Ratner doesn't contribute to candidates to avoid the appearance of favoritism) and an email that confirms an Atlantic Yards team meeting in Michael Ratner's Brooklyn office.
NoLandGrab: Property rights is a civil right. Anyone familiar with nation building or working with groups who are striving towards rebuilding a civil society understands that along with rule of law, the first thing a society must establish is the right to property. Without property rights, there is no incentive to invest one's labor, thus underminding the stability of society.
Our Founding Fathers understood this concept and, in the Fifth Amendment, included protection of private property, along with protection of life itself, against the coercive powers of the state.
Michael Ratner is very familiar with the first part of the Fifth Amendment, and has argued the concept of Due Process in his campaign to protect the human rights of detainees held at Guantanamo. We recommend that he reacquaint himself with the entire amendment the Eminent Domain part is at the end.
Posted by lumi at November 30, 2006 9:35 AM