Club for Growth: Trump tried to boot elderly widow to make way for limousine parking lot; said he agreed "100%" with Kelo v. New London decision
Washington, DC - The Club for Growth today noted that Donald Trump once tried to use eminent domain to evict an elderly widow from her Atlantic City home to build a limousine parking lot, and has repeatedly tried to use eminent domain as a tool of his development business:
"First we find out Donald Trump is a liberal on taxes, health care, and trade. Now we find out he's an abuser of eminent domain. Eminent domain abuse is an assault on freedom, pure and simple" said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola. "No real conservative would ever use eminent domain in order to take the private property of citizens. I'm shocked and appalled by these revelations. Club members and conservatives ought to know where Donald Trump stands on the issues."
In 1997, Trump tried to evict an elderly widow to expand an Atlantic City casino: Vera Coking agreed to drop her lawsuit against Donald Trump yesterday and accepted a settlement of $90,000 from Trump's demolition contractor for damage to the rooming house she has long refused to sell. The settlement does not affect the longstanding battle over ownership of Coking's house on South Columbia Place, a block from Trump Plaza. Coking is still fighting a court battle to keep her home in the face of a state eminent domain action to assist Trump with the expansion of his casino. (Philadelphia Inquirer, 2/19/97)
Trump would have used the land to build a "limousine waiting area": Superior Court Judge Richard Williams said the state's plan to seize the parcels for an expansion of Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino was flawed because it set no limits on what Mr. Trump could do once he obtained the land. Mr. Trump had said the land would be used for a park, a parking lot and a limousine waiting area. (New York Times, 7/26/98)
Trump on pro-eminent domain Supreme Court case Kelo v. New London: "I happen to agree with it 100 percent": CAVUTO: You know, the one thing that sticks in the craw of a lot of people with this court, Donald -- and I don't know where you come down on it, but this eminent domain issue that essentially allowed someone's home to be bulldozed, as was the case in New London, Connecticut, if it gets in the way of developers. Now, you're a pretty successful developer in your own right. What did you think of that decision? Was the court overdoing it with that decision? TRUMP: Well, it's sort of not a good one for me to say, because I noticed every article written about it said, "Will Donald Trump take over your home?" sort of using me as the example, Neil. And it's sort of -- it's an interesting situation to be in. But I happen to agree with it 100 percent, not that I would want to use it. But the fact is, if you have a person living in an area that's not even necessarily a good area, and government, whether it's local or whatever, government wants to build a tremendous economic development, where a lot of people are going to be put to work and make area that's not good into a good area, and move the person that's living there into a better place -- now, I know it might not be their choice -- but move the person to a better place and yet create thousands upon thousands of jobs and beautification and lots of other things, I think it happens to be good. (Fox News, 7/19/05)
In 1994, Trump proposed using eminent domain to purchase land in Bridgeport, CT to build an amusement park: The city currently owns Pleasure Beach, which makes up about 40 percent of the 100 acres. The remaining 60 percent is privately owned. Under the Trump proposal, the city would acquire the private land through eminent domain and then convey it to Mr. Trump. The Trump organization and the city's Parks Board would enter into a long-term lease for the Pleasure Beach area. (New York Times, 6/3/94)