Hime's Outrageous Hypocrisy

Steven Greenhut: I almost fell out of my chair laughing at this piece by Rex Hime opposing some new land-use rules from the state of California. Hime is completely right about the foolishness of the proposed legislation, but Hime is president and CEO of the California Business Properties Association, which loves state-mandated land-use planning and lobbies heavily in favor of redevelopment. His organization has consistently opposed reforms to the state’s abuse of eminent domain. It favors subsidies and government planning. Basically, Hime and his group are for land use rules when they benefit him and his members and against land-use rules when they go against him and his members. Such unprincipled rent seeking is typical in Sacramento and government at all levels, but let’s at least dispense with all the pretense of making a stand on behalf of freedom. His commentary is titled, “Don’t Use Land Use As a Weapon Against Employers.” What he should call it is, “Let’s Use Land Use As a Weapon Against Small Employers And On Behalf of The Big Box Stores That Pay My Bills.”

People want to know why California Republicans are struggling. It’s because they have no principles. The party is filled with louts such as Hime who only champion principles when it benefits him personally. Had the Legislature proposed a nearly identical bill that screwed over small businesses on behalf of his clients, he would be championing it. No wonder poor folks, working-class folks and minorities have no interest in this party. Conservatives and libertarians and others who consistently champion freedom and fewer land-use rules ought to sit on the sidelines on these bills. Let the state’s big business community fight its own battles. Remember — they only care about principle when the principle cuts in their own financial favor.


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