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New twist on eminent domain May 24, 2006

Posted by daveintexas in Bidness.

Use it to seize land that belongs to Wal-Mart.

Typical Norton AP story… there's more info missing than is given in the article.  Still, it's interesting that the city council decided to use eminent domain rather than work their will through a planning and zoning commission.

Norton writes that Wal-Mart is accused of "scare tactics to force it's way into the neighborhood" without actually quoting any of the residents he says make this claim.  I don't doubt some residents made that claim, it would just be nice and all to say what they were if you're going to mention it at all.

Here's what I suspect Wal-Mart threatened them with:

1.  We're going to use our massive purchasing power, our ability to negotiate terms, and our unrivaled understanding of effective category management to bring the people of Hercules products they want at an unrivaled competitive price.

2.  We will employ our world-class logistics and distribution network to drive operating costs as low as they can possibly be pushed, and pass that benefit on to our customers and suppliers.

3.  We will provide our suppliers and vendors with technology and systems that are unmatched in the US retail industry, to help them manage their costs effectively, and pass that cost benefit to us so that we can pass it on to our customers.

4.  We will do this because we know what is best in life is to crush your enemies, to drive dem out before you and hear de lamentations of dey women.


1. geoff - May 25, 2006

This is a very odd case – I didn’t think eminent domain seizures could be used this way. Kind of a disquieting extension of seizure powers. Now any business that residents don’t like can be booted through a seizure proceeding.

Isn’t the normal method just to have the city block the development plans?

2. geoff - May 25, 2006

Isn’t the normal method just to have the city block the development plans?

Oops, guess you already said that above. Anyway, this goes well beyond Kelo. Without a vote of citizens, a couple dozen malcontents can influence the city council into seizing private property. I hope WalMart takes this to court.

3. Dave in Texas - May 25, 2006

Yeah, I’m sure they’re considering their options. They have to be careful though, they can’t afford to be seen as the “big bad uberbusiness that crushed the poor little town in court”, or made them run up a huge legal bill. Their business does depend in part on the goodwill of the community.

It’s the same reason funeral homes in small towns don’t sue deadbeats that don’t pay.

4. skinbad - May 25, 2006

Yes, yes, we all love Wal-Mart. Now I think you have a blogish duty to put some thought into “Stuff William Jefferson Said.”

“I clearly said, no bills larger than 100s and the serial numbers need to be non-sequential. What are you, ignorant?”

5. Mrs. Peel - May 25, 2006

Hey Dave, what happened to writing it as Wal*Mart? That extra press of the shift key just too much for you?

6. Dave in Texas - May 25, 2006

Skinbad, there’s gold there.

Mrs. Peel.

Hey, I said the * was important to them.

Not to me.

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