Below is a letter to the editor of the Washington Post. This is a response to their recent editorial urging Virginians to vote no on Question 1.
To the Editor:
I was somewhat surprised to see the Post weigh in so negatively on Question 1.
Of course, if enacted, Question 1 could be abused — just like eminent domain was before and after Kelo. Few deny this.
Suppose lawmakers decided there was some greater public utility to a large swath of land in Springfield, Virginia, where the Washington Post produces its newspapers.
I would guess that this location was carefully chosen both for cost and ease of distribution. Losing it would be costly.
Would the Washington Post be alright with “fair market value” for this land? Would 150% do? 200%?
I know profits are kind of an awkward topic year to year at the Post, but three years of profits (or something comparable) should make legislators think twice before taking land through government decree.
Opponents say this Question, if passed, would “severely limit the use and increase the expense of eminent domain.”