Friday, August 8, 2008

Broncos Coach Needs to make a Goal Line Stand

It's not just the poor and the powerless who can find themselves on the business end of a bulldozer when their property stands in the way of some grand new business development or "infrastructure improvement" for which government officials are willing to use eminent domain. As this Denver Post story shows, even relatively well-to-do and influential people, like Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan, can find themselves targeted for a "taking" when government goes on the offensive. The only difference is, these intended victims can play defense.

Shanahan is part of an investment group that owns a piece of property that Denver's Regional Transportation District, or RTD, covets as a bus terminal. And RTD has the authority to use eminent domain to take what it wants, if the owner won't sell voluntarily, which, in this case, they won't.

Unlike average Joes who find themselves facing eminent domain, Shanahan and his partners have the resources and know-how to fight for their property rights when an 800-pound gorilla shows up, suggesting they sell or else. And I for one hope that Coach Shanahan & Co. mount a bruising goal line stance against RTD.

That’s because we all are at risk when eminent domain takings become an easy score for those doing the taking.

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