Donald Trump at Pufferbilly Days Rally in Boone, IA on 9/13/15. Photo credit: Dave Davidson (
Donald Trump: “I think eminent domain is wonderful.”
Photo credit: Dave Davidson (

Real estate mogul Donald Trump loves eminent domain, he’s said as much. He also has no problem using it to his advantage in business.  Even if it means a widow loses her home.  U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) calls him out on his record in a new ad.

I’d love to see Donald Trump or his supporters try explain this away. How is this a conservative value? How is this a populist position? This is his record. It’s how he does business.

This has the potential to be a devastating ad.

Update: A fact check from the New York Times.

The tale of the widow, Vera Coking, has been recirculating for months. The “insiders” the ad cites were the members of New Jersey’s Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, which offered Mrs. Coking $250,000 for her house — a quarter of what she said she had been offered years earlier — before moving to condemnation proceedings.

After an extended battle, Mrs. Coking won and kept her home; it was not, despite the ad’s suggestion, bulldozed. In fact, Mrs. Coking lived to see Mr. Trump relinquish his control over the casino.

I’d encourage the Cruz campaign to pull this ad and re-do it. I think the same point can be made without suggesting Coking’s property was bulldozed when it wasn’t.  The fact is Donald Trump will use eminent domain for profit. Trump’s record needs to be addressed, but it doesn’t need to be embellished either.

Disclosure: This writer has endorsed Ted Cruz for President.

    1. I updated the article with a New York Times fact check. I think they could have made their point without embellishing what happened. While Trump’s record on this is pretty clear, they need to tell the truth, they should pull the ad.

      1. “The fact is Donald Trump will use eminent domain for profit. Trump’s record needs to be addressed.”
        I completely agree with you about Trump’s record. The media has been negligent.

        I appreciate the update to your post.

  1. Ted Cruz says that he is against emanate domain, but vote for the Keystone XL Pipeline which was dependent upon eminent domain in six states, and numerous local municipalities.

  2. Trump is inadvertently pointing to one of the reasons to oppose the “Kelo” decision : public risk for potential private gain. Not only did the city of New London and state of Connecticut spend $78 million for the redevelopment plan that never materialized but the state taxpayers for politically expedient reasons paid an additional $4.1 million settlement to the losing plaintiffs to get them out of their homes to forgo the spectacle of having them forcibly evicted. As Trump said they indeed were paid several times the actual market value of their homes to leave in the end. Also the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino which was adjacent to the property in Trump’s losing eminent domain case closed on September 16, 2014 from lack of business.

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