By Thomas Madison
Jeb should have his name legally changed to Hypocrite Bush.
During Saturday night’s ABC GOP presidential debate Bush slammed Donald Trump on eminent domain. Pandering to a clearly hostile anti-Trump crowd Jeb used eminent domain as a club to bash The Donald, citing a decades-old case of an elderly Atlantic City lady who refused to sell her property to Trump, which he wanted for a parking lot. Atlantic City condemned her property, trying to force her to sell, she challenged the condemnation in court and won. Trump quickly abandoned the idea in favor of more willing neighbors who sold their property to Trump for his parking lot.
Here’s the hypocrisy. Donald Trump discovered after the debate that the Bush family was eyeball deep in eminent domain themselves when they acquired the land to build a baseball stadium for the Texas Rangers.
I don’t blame the Bushes for using eminent domain. It was put in place for a reason, to further the public good. You simply cannot stand in the way of progress and the public good. But I can blame the Bushes for poking their finger in someone else’s eye for doing something that they have done themselves. Hypocrites!
Last night during the Republican presidential debate, Jeb Bush of the Bush crime family, attacked Trump for using eminent domain in Atlantic City.
Of course, eminent domain is evil and Trump should not be given a pass for using it but Jeb should be the last person to be charging someone for using eminent domain. His brother, George W., who he is using in spots to campaign for him, acquired most of his wealth when the City of Arlington, Texas grabbed through eminent domain homes, so that Bush could build a new baseball stadium for the Texas Rangers and an accompanying parking lot, a team then-owned by a group where George W. was the general manager and key partner.
Trump should have it Jeb over the head with that and he never would have recovered.
In April of 1991, the Rangers shepherded through the Legislature a bill [that] would create the Arlington Sports Facilities Development Authority, a quasi-governmental entity endowed with the power of eminent domain. Shortly after the bill was signed into law by former Governor Ann Richards, three parcels of land located near the stadium, nearly thirteen acres in all, were condemned by the ASFDA. The land was owned by … the heirs of television magnate Curtis Mathes.Among court documents is an unsigned Rangers memo by a team representative, discussing the history of the Mathes tracts. The representative notes that in his first contact with the Mathes family concerning the land, on November 6, 1990, “I was not well received.” The memo goes on to say that the ASFDA’s appraiser assigned the land a value of $3.16 per square foot, for a total value of $1.515 million. “An offer was made by the Authority at this price. This offer was rejected & the Sellers countered with $2,835,000.00 for all three tracts, i.e.: $5.31 p.s.f.” In mid-December, the ASFDA offered the Mathes heirs just $817,220 for the three tracts, far below even what the ASFDA’s first appraiser had suggested. The Mathes family refused to sell, and the ASFDA seized the land through eminent domain.
Glenn Sodd, a Corsicana attorney who represents the Mathes family, says he has found little evidence that Bush was directly involved in the decisions to condemn the property for the stadium. But he adds, “What happened to my folks was pretty audacious. It was the first time in Texas history that the power of eminent domain has been used to assist a private organization like a baseball team.”[In May 1996], a Tarrant County jury found that the sports authority’s offer of $817,220 for the Mathes property was too low, and it awarded the Mathes heirs $4.98 million, plus accumulated interest. For the past year, the city of Arlington and the Rangers have been arguing over who will pay the tab.