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McDuffie residents discuss eminent domain with Purdue

Paul and Bonnie McCorkle used their five minutes with Georgia Governor Sonny Purdue on Saturday to discuss the use of eminent domain for the purposes of private development.

perdue3.jpg

Paul McCorkle (left) and Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue discuss eminent domain.
Photo by Jason B. Smith
Mr. McCorkle shared the example of when a piece of his property that fronts a state highway was taken by the government and turned over to a car dealership to build a driveway. He and his wife told Gov. Purdue that kind of activity is wrong.

"I think the governor is very receptive to the common man's plea," Mr. McCorkle said. "Like he said, he was looking for examples, and I think that's a good example of where land was taken for a private use."

Gov. Purdue said taking over blighted areas for improvement may be useful, but he is still unsure of the benefit of using eminent domain for economic development. A bill proposed in the recent legislative session looked to curtail just such activity.

"They make some cogent argument that some point in time they're trying to overall help the community when the individual property owners are not able to do that," Gov. Purdue told the McCorkles. "But that's still a scary proposition to me."

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Gov. Perdue listens as Mr. McCorkle talks.
Photo by Jason B. Smith
Mr. McCorkle had already decided to write a letter explaining his position, but when the "Saturdays with Sonny" was announced, he decided an in-person explanation would be better.

"I didn't know if the letter would even get to the governor, so I felt like it was an opportune time to do it," he said.



Web posted on Thursday, August 4, 2005











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