Croker Sack

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." — Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Berendt supports property rights

Washington State Democratic Party Chairman Paul Berendt has taken an extremist’s position on the rights of property owners versus the government.

How dare he question the authority of the government to deny a private party the full use of private property? Doesn’t he realize that such an extreme position is out of the mainstream?

Next thing you know, Berendt will be portrayed as just another angry white male whose selfishness blinds him to the reality that property rights must be surrendered for the good of the community.

State Democrats to Olympia: Um, You've Lost Our Interest
By RACHEL LA CORTE, Associated Press, June 9, 2005
After a court vindicated the Democrats this week by upholding the 2004 victory of Gov. Christine Gregoire, the state party now wants back the money it spent on a recount with interest.
The Democrats, who asked for the money in late December, said they should get 12 percent interest -- more than $30,000 more than the state wants to give them -- because the money was wrongfully held by the secretary of state's office for six months.

"We've been penalized by them having this money all of this time," state Democratic Party Chairman Paul Berendt said Wednesday. "There was no reason why that shouldn't have been refunded as soon as the third count was certified. The state seizure of that money is tantamount to them seizing money from any private party."

Berendt said the money could have been used toward the nearly $3.5 million in legal costs for the election challenge.
Berendt said he thought he could come to an agreement with Reed's office, and hasn't made a decision on whether he might take court action.

"They shouldn't assume they can just take a private party's assets without paying a penalty," he said.

Secretary of State Sam Reed should refer Berendt to King County Executive Ron Sims for a chat about the trivial nature of private property rights.

The WSDCC has been denied the full use of its property for a few months – so what? It was only a brief moratorium. They will receive the interest earned by the money in the account in which it was safely deposited, so they haven’t been denied all beneficial use of the property.


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