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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Alternative Headline: Heidepriem Fights for Landowner Rights...

...Republican Governor Silent on Eminent Domain

We like Dakota War College. Family man, sends Madville Times referrals, critical of school boards when necessary. Plus, DWC has had a hard week already. So we hate to pick on him.

Nonetheless, we take issue with his headline, "So, does this mean he’d fight pipelines and other forms of energy development as Governor?"

Dakota War College runs a press release from Dakotans Concerned, the folks up in Britton trying to keep TransCanada from stealing their land. According to Dakotans Concerned, our pushy Canadian corporate neighbors filed eminent domain papers against 9 more landowners Friday, bringing the total facing court-approved theft to 18.

The Madville Times hesitates to put words in anyone's mouth, but DWC's PP appears to dismiss the position of Dakotans Concerned and their lawyer, State Senate Minority Leader Scott Heidepreim, as bad for South Dakota: "Interesting that Senator Heidepreim is fighting the oil companies trying to develop South Dakota’s energy infrastructure."

We welcome interpretations and explanations of DWC's position on eminent domain and energy development. We also await an explanation of how the Keystone pipeline at all represents an addition to South Dakota's energy infrastructure; i.e., how specifically does this pipeline improve South Dakota's energy situation in a way that justifies the trampling of property rights (not to mention environmental concerns and common courtesy).

Finally, we ask for clarification: is DWC's desire to take a poke, small as it may be, at a perceived partisan opponent, overshadowing the bigger issue of protecting property rights for South Dakotans? The Madville Times has certainly offered criticism (and does so here) of the Republican administration that has remained disturbingly silent on these eminent domain actions, but we would offer criticism of any public official who did not protect his or her fellow citizens' rights from encroachment by foreign powers, political or corporate. We will also offer praise for any politician of any party who works either from his official position or in his day job (like lawyer Heidepreim) to protect landowners from eminent domain exercised for private gain.

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