An advertising entrepreneur leading an effort to
seize David Souter's home in response to the high court's controversial eminent
domain decision is encouraging citizens to mount a campaign against leaders of
the justice's New Hampshire town.
Clements wrote to the
board, explaining he needed to find out if they already opposed the proposal
so he would know whether it was worth the money and effort to produce a formal
Selectman Joseph Fiala replied, saying in conclusion,
"While I understand your frustration with the offending decision of the Court, I
hope you will reconsider your position and take one I'm sure you are more
comfortable with that is to defend the property rights of all citizens,
whether we agree with them or not. Peace, Joe Fiala, Weare Selectman"
But Clements contends Fiala doesn't understand that in taking that
position, he is giving Souter special rights.
The Los Angeles
entrepreneur is encouraging people to write
to the selectman board members "and explain that giving Mr. Souter a special
exemption from his own ruling is not defending property rights, as they are
trying to assert."
"Equal justice under the law means we all are
treated equally," he said.
Clements said he's asking the residents
of Weare to continue with a ballot-initiative drive to circumvent the board and
to investigate whether local laws allow them to remove the entire board of
selectmen from office.
"America now needs the assistance of the
residents of Weare so that the torch of liberty can enlighten one who has so
soundly turned his back on all those who died to keep it lit," Clements says on
The town of
Weare has been inundated with calls in support of the proposal since WND first publicized the
story of how Clements plans to turn eminent domain against one of its
Clements says he's received more than 5,000 e-mails and over
400 phone calls.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 two weeks ago that
local towns and cities can seize homes and private businesses through eminent
domain and turn the properties over to private developers for no other reason
than the fact that it would result in higher tax revenues for the municipality.
A few days after the ruling, Clements faxed a request to Chip Meany, the
code enforcement officer of Weare, seeking to start the application process to
build a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road, the present location of Souter's home.
Clements wants to build "The Lost Liberty Hotel" on the property as a
kind of museum commemorating the lost right to private property in America.
The Kelo v. City of New London decision allows the New London, Conn.,
government to seize the homes and businesses of residents to facilitate the
building of an office complex that would provide economic benefits to the area
and more tax revenue to the city.
Though the practice of eminent domain
is provided for in the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, the case is
significant because the seizure is for private development and not for "public
use," such as a highway or bridge. The decision has been roundly criticized by
property-rights activists and limited-government commentators.