San Fran Nan’s Paper Trail

Remember when I speculated on “the prospects of developers making campaign donations–or outright kickbacks–to local politicians” in return for using eminent domain to seize properties? And remember Nancy Pelosi’s shrill defense of the Kelo decision?

Well, now. Check this out:

The city of Oakland, using eminent domain, seized Revelli Tire and the adjacent property, owner-operated Autohouse, on 20th Street between Telegraph and San Pablo avenues on Friday and evicted the longtime property owners, who have refused to sell to clear the way for a large housing development.

The properties in question were seized to make room for the “Uptown Project,” which is intended to replace under performing properties (at least in tax collection terms) with pricey condos.

I did a little Googling and found out that the prime contractor for the Uptown Project is Forest City Residential West, Inc. Forest City Residential West’s co-chairmain of the board is Albert B. Ratner.

Ratner donated $1,000 to Nancy Pelosi in the 2004 election cycle. He and various other people named Ratner and identified as working for Forest City also gave thousands more to the the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee over the last few elections (in addition to Republicans like Mike DeWine and Rick Santorum, but as far as I can tell, neither has stood up to compare Kelo to holy writ).

Everybody knows politicians can be bought. Who knew they came so cheap?


29 Responses to “San Fran Nan’s Paper Trail”

  1. richard mcenroe Says:

    Pelosi doesn’t come cheap. ButI guess she’s like Boxer; she must offer big mark-downs for donors who actually LIVE in the state…

  2. Barry Dauphin Says:

    Good catch! I guess it would be too much to ask for the guy to also be a plastic surgeon. Sometimes I’m too greedy.

  3. Frank Martin Says:

    This practice is nothing new, in california its entrenched policy. The best practitioner was Mayor Frank Shaw from the 1930s who used eminent domain, the LAPD and the cover the LA Times editioral board to silence his political critics.

    Its worth noting, that he was also the first mayor in US history to be impeached from office.

    The practice of silencing your opposition by threatening their business is what politics is all about. Now under cover of very bad law, the Supreme court has handed a sldegehammer to the Gallaghers of political power.

    and we are the watermelons.

  4. azlibertarian Says:

    Well done, Martini-Boy.

    Why is it that the MSM cannot do such work?

  5. William Says:

    It’s a little unfair to jump to the conclusion that guy gives 1000 bucks, rep. becomes his pawn. No doubt that’s his viewpoint, but it’s perfectly possible that the rep.’s just stupid or something.

    Which side of the emminent domain decision was O’connor on?

  6. antimedia Says:

    “Which side of the emminent domain decision was O’connor on?”

    She wrote the dissenting opinion that could be summed up with her first paragraph.

    “Over two centuries ago, just after the Bill of Rights was ratified, Justice Chase wrote:

  7. Ian Wood Says:


    Mossberg offers some fine correctives for this sort of thing.

    But by Krom it’s a shame to have it come to this, innit?

  8. Dirk Diggler Says:

    Correction: kudos to Collier, the actual blogger and guy who wrote this, not the trust fund baby. Kelo, in addition to being an indefensible decision, will create situations in which good citizens of this country and law enforcement personnel will die violently.

  9. Tim P Says:

    Good sleuthing Will!
    God forbid anyone in the MSM would get off their lazy duff and try Googling, or even think to do it.

    You’re right, she was bought and bought cheap. But then, she is cheap. And stupid too. I just hope that this decision is either overturned and soon, or congress successfully passes the motions to curtail federal funds to states and cities that transfer seized property to private hands.

  10. blogs for industry Says:

    Pelosi and Kelo

    Virginia Postrel asks:
    Is Nancy Pelosi Stupid, or Does She Think We Are?
    Will Collier provides a hint:
    Well, now. Check this out:
    The city of Oakland, using eminent domain, seized Revelli Tire and the adjacent property, owner-operated Autoho…

  11. Mark Says:

    I don’t get it. I really don’t.

    Pelosi’s remarks were so stupid I’m still fighting back the urge to vomit. I knew she was a moron, but this is beyond anything I would have expected.

    So now the suggestion is that she’s not so stupid? That she is only posing as an idiot for a measley grand? Really? And she’s on the take for a grand? Really?

    Shit, I don’t know what to think (except, of course, that she MUST go).

    Either situation defies belief, and both rank in the top five boneheaded political moves of all time (don’t ask me to list the top five–I haven’t thought that through yet).

  12. Rod Stanton Says:

    It is and has been well known in NoCal that Nancy is on the take. But she is forgoven because she has been consistent and savage in her Attacks on the Bill of Rights. BTW Ammendment #5 is part of the Bill of Rights she hates so much.

  13. Paul Says:

    Hey it sounds like “good old girl” politics to me and innocent people have to suffer. C’est la vie !!

  14. Paul Says:

    Hey it sounds like “good old girl” politics to me and innocent people have to suffer. C’est la vie !!

  15. denise Says:

    Mark – I also don’t see the tie between Pelosi and the Oakland City Council, which, by the way, had to have made ts eminent domain decision quite some time before the Kelo ruling.

    I’m still in the “she’s a moron” camp.

  16. Sandy P Says:

    Who knew they came so cheap?

    Pay attention to Chicago politicos.

    My husband and I have said for years we wouldn’t go down for that little money. Go big or don’t go at all.

  17. richard mcenroe Says:


  18. Just Shoot Me Says:

    Will, I’m surprised the name “Ratner” didn’t trigger your alarm bells.

    This merely scratches the surface of the Ratner clan, which amazingly also produced Michael Ratner, the president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, a hard-left group that specializes in defending terrorists and that seeks continually to hamper GWB’s prosecution of the war.

    I leave it as an exercise to the reader to ponder the contradictions inherent in the Ratner clan’s activities.

  19. PacRim Jim Says:

    It’s not that she’s cheap, it’s just that she’s so old that $1000 seems like a lot of money.

  20. zdpl0a Says:

    Is Ratner related to the Ratner on Fox News Weekends? She once plugged, on air, a project for Giants Stadium before it was awarded and it turned out Forest City was one of the prime bidders.

  21. The Key Monk Says:

    Kelo fallout part 514

    Vodkapundit’s sidekick says there’s a connection between the developer and HR Democratic Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi that somehow is relevant to her approval of the Supreme Court’s decision. I don’t buy that at all.

  22. rbj Says:

    Pelosi’s a moron, as evidenced by being bought so cheaply.

  23. Al Maviva Says:

    Shhhh. Stop talking so loudly. You won’t be able to hear the voice of God handing down decisions from on high, or First Street and North Capitol, as we locals call the Holy of Holies.

    And to think, some people think the term “San Francisco Liberal” is high praise…

  24. obvious Says:

    Pelosi is a San Francisco rep and the story you describe is in Oakland, CA. A developer trying to get the local Oakland gov to work on its behalf isn’t going to get a lot done by contributing to Pelosi. I’m certain if you check you’ll see he greased the local pols to the same tune. If it’s exclusive to Pelosi I’ll eat my hat.

  25. richard mcenroe Says:

    Ah, so Pelosi and her fellow party members are all corrupt… I can see where you might take comfort in that…

  26. byrd Says:

    This would be the same Forest City Ratners that are using eminent domain to clear space in Brooklyn for a Basketball Arena for the NJ Nets?

    The same Forest City Ratners who have a history around here (ex., Fulton Street Mall in Brooklyn) of taking huge public subsidies to “revitalize” blighted areas, which then serve mostly government tenants because nobody else will rent them? The government, of course, has to become a major tenant because it needs to hide the extent of the losses after investing so many tax dollars into the project.

    Those Forest City Ratners?

  27. Michael Brennan Says:

    yes, the very same Ratners.

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