Mansfield Fox

Law student. Yankees fan. Massive fraggle. Just living the American dream.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

I LIKE THAT FLYER FOR SEVERAL REASONS One: it reveals one of the real oddities of New Haven politics. The opposition party in town isn't the Republicans, its the Green Party. Yale Insider reports that only 2 of the city's 30 districts have Republican challengers (scroll down). This strikes me, who's basically only familiar with national politics, as an odd development. I wonder if there's an analog in Red America - are there any places where there are no Democrats who run for office, and the opposition party is the Libertarians? I suspect not, but I'd be curious to find out.

Another reason I like it is that it has me thinking about one of my favorite topics, eminent domain. I'm not at all sure why I get so jazzed up about such a relatively unsexy topic, but I do. Maybe its the old populist, anti-corporate heart of me. So many eminent domain cases you hear about involve a town seizing people's homes in order to put up a WalMart or a new Toyota factory or somesuch. Cases that really stretch the limits of legitimate eminent domain seizures. As a result, I've become reflexively anti-eminent domain. My gut reaction whenever I hear the phrase is basically "This is an outrage! LAWLESS!"

And that was how I felt when I first heard about this plan. How could they consider tearing down Mamoun's? I love Mamoun's! What a lawless outrage! But now I'm not so sure. A magnet school seems, at least on its face, like a good idea, and one that'll really benefit the kids of New Haven. Maybe Howe & Chapel isn't the best place to put the school. And certainly the aldermen should discuss rather than simply rubber-stamp the proposal. But it seems foolish to me to reflexively oppose a plan that might really do some good just because some of "your favorite eateries" might have to close or be relocated.