I saw a recent Ted Cruz ad that made some claims about his rival Donald Trump. I did some searching and found the facts behind the ad in the UK Guardian.
Since he shot to the top of the presidential polls, Donald Trump’s serial bankruptcies and bullying nature have made big headlines. But no one seems to have brought up a bullying business practice he’s particularly fond of: eminent domain.
The billionaire mogul-turned-reality TV celebrity, who says he wants to work on behalf of “the silent majority,” has had no compunction about benefiting from the coercive power of the state to kick innocent Americans out of their homes.
[…]Trump turned to a government agency – the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) – to take Coking’s property. CRDA offered her $250,000 for the property – one-fourth of what another hotel builder had offered her a decade earlier. When she turned that down, the agency went into court to claim her property under eminent domain so that Trump could pave it and put up a parking lot.
[…]Ms Coking and her neighbors spent several years in court, but eventually with the assistance of the Institute for Justice they won on July 20, 1998. A state judge rejected the agency’s demand on the narrow grounds that there was no guarantee that Trump would use the land for the specified purpose.
But Trump is quite unrepentant:
Trump consistently defended the use of eminent domain. Interviewed by John Stossel on ABC News, he said: “Cities have the right to condemn for the good of the city. Everybody coming into Atlantic City sees this terrible house instead of staring at beautiful fountains and beautiful other things that would be good.” Challenged by Stossel, he said that eminent domain was necessary to build schools and roads. But of course he just wanted to build a limousine parking lot.
[…]When Donald Trump says: “I give to everybody. They do whatever I want,” this is what he’s talking about: well-connected interests getting favors from government. Vera Coking knows the feeling.
Here’s the Ted Cruz ad summarizing the story above:
Donald Trump is a New York billionaire who inherited a fortune from his father. He brags about how he donated money to Democrat politicians. His view on eminent domain really shows what he thinks of ordinary Americans – and the Constitution.