Libertarian Party of North Carolina
1821 Hillandale Rd. #1B-253 Durham NC 27705
For more information contact:
Brian Irving, press secretary
Libertarians Hail BB&T Policy Decision on Funding Eminent Domain Abuse
DURHAM (Jan. 30) – Libertarians are hailing the decision by BB&T not to loan money to private developers who use the state’s power of eminent domain to develop property taken from other citizens.
“We’re heartened when a major corporation, especially one based in North Carolina, takes a strong stand in support of property rights,” said Brian Irving, spokesman for the Libertarian Party of North Carolina. “This is an excellent example of responsible corporate leadership working in a free market to support individual liberty.”
BB&T changed their commercial lending policy in response to a controversial U.S. Supreme Court decision in Kelo vs. New London. The court ruled that governments can seize personal property to make room for private development projects. This cleared the way for an expansion of eminent domain authority historically used primarily for utilities, rights of way and other public facilities.
Libertarians have condemned the Kelo decision as a nullification of property rights. North Carolina libertarians have called for a state constitutional amendment to prohibit the state from taking private property for private development.
In a news release announcing the policy, BB&T Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Allison said, “The idea that a citizen's property can be taken by the government solely for private use is extremely misguided, in fact it's just plain wrong”
“One of the most basic rights of every citizen is to keep what they own,” Allison said “As an institution dedicated to helping our clients achieve economic success and financial security, we won't help any entity or company that would undermine that mission and threaten the hard-earned American dream of property ownership.”
“We wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Allison,” Irving said. “We commend BB&T not only for this specific action but for the underlying fact of their acting on principle. As the ‘Party of Principle,’ Libertarians appreciate BB&T as the ‘Principled Bank.”
“I think this is outstanding news,” said Chris Cole, 2004 Libertarian Party candidate for lieutenant governor.
Jim Capo, a libertarian activist said, “Between this press release and the understanding that Atlas Shrugged is assigned reading for their top management team, I have decided to move my Wachovia account over to BB&T.”
Jim Pitts, a Lee county libertarian wrote to Allison to say he’s “extremely pleased” to be a customer. “BB&T’s clear stance against supporting eminent domain is very heartening to everyone. People, including governmental entities, who want to take individuals’ and families’ property to use as ‘they’ desire, have challenged our American way of life.”
Libertarian Tim Rohr, who’s also a Lenoir city council member said, “I think I'm going to propose Lenoir move its accounts to BB&T.” Rohr was instrumental in getting the Lenoir council to pass a resolution condemning the Kelo decision.
“The LPNC already has its money there,” noted Bev Wilcox, a member of the LPNC executive committee. “Bravo to them.”