In a victory for property rights in Wisconsin, Earl Giefer will be allowed to keep the farm that he rightfully owns. The Oak Creek City Council voted on June 1 to end the eminent domain proceedings they had begun on the property that had been in his family for 150 years.
IJ’s Jason Adkins, an attorney at the Minnesota Chapter, reached out to the Giefer family upon hearing that the city planned to bulldoze his farm to make way for private development. Together with other concerned citizens, they held a rally against eminent domain abuse before the vote, telling the land-hungry bureaucrats that they stood behind Mr. Giefer.
The increased media coverage that ensued placed an enormous amount of public pressure on local officials, prompting the politicians to wash their hands of what one of them called a “PR nightmare” for the city. The city attorney, clearly on the defensive, all but admitted that labeling Mr. Giefer’s farm “blighted” was bogus, and that the true intentions of the city were to line their coffers with increased tax revenues.
Jason Adkins says that Oak Creek’s attempted land grab highlights the scary reality that Wisconsinites are not fully protected by current legislation. Read Adkins’ op-ed in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel calling for eminent domain reform in Wisconsin here.
To read more about the victory, and to watch a video of the city attorney’s testimony, click here.