Racine mayoral candidate Greg Helding has called for the demolition of the "infamous" Jacato Drive apartments, according to a recent article in the Racine Journal Times. From the article:
“It is high time to solve this problem once and for all,” he stated in a news release. “The law allows the city to proceed against the buildings as a public nuisance.
It is often said that Greg Helding is one of two conservatives running for mayor, the other being Jody Harding. Is Greg Helding's proposal conservative?
Not in my view. Conservatives believe in limited government, the rule of law, personal responsibility, and property rights, among other things.
Let us consider the GH's proposal in light of the beliefs or values typically held by conservatives.
1. Limited government. GH's proposes to take and destroy private property owned by people neither accused of or convicted of any crime. This is unlimited government power. Indeed, this is abuse of power and conservatives should not stand for it. Oh, and it would be very expensive with court costs, lawsuits, razing costs, relocation costs etc...
2. Rule of law. This is the idea that laws should be fairly, rather than arbitrarily, applied. GH's proposal to demolish nuisance properties would be arbitrarily applied. How do I know this? I am willing to bet that the three buildings that require the most police responses are Horlick, Park, and Case. Will these buildings be destroyed? No, of course not.
3. Personal responsibility. There are people committing crimes in Racine, to be sure. Rather than hold the criminals responsible for their own behavior, GH instead proposes to destroy the property of the people who have not been accused of any crime. Why not hold criminals responsible for the crime problem?
4. Property rights. GH's proposal is just another of a series of proposals and policies that undermine the rights of property owners in Racine.
Many of GH's proposals are not conservative. Indeed, he has seemingly embraced and or proposed virtually every big government idea at City Hall. I take no pleasure in saying so. GH understands conservative thought but it seems to me that he no longer embraces conservative ideas. If he believes otherwise, he is most welcome to chime in here.