Tiffany Hypocritical on Eminent Domain

June 14, 2016

Senator Tom Tiffany
Senator Tom Tiffany

A Republican lawmaker who opposes local governments’ use of eminent domain has supported its use by out-of-state private oil pipeline companies.

State Sen. Tom Tiffany, of Hazelhurst, last week said he would be proposing a “homeowners’ bill of rights” to protect against the “creep of overbearing government.”

Tiffany made the announcement last week on private property that Tiffany says the village of Bay City is trying to force the owner to sell in order to build a public walking trail.

“We are dismayed to hear stories of Wisconsinites being subjected to the taking of their homes or property by the all-powerful government in order to build amenities like parks and trails or the taking of property from private citizens in the name of economic blight for private development,” according to details about the legislation issued by Tiffany and GOP Rep. Adam Jarchow, of Balsam Lake.

But Tiffany, who was the town supervisor for Little Rice in Oneida County from 2009 through 2013, supports eminent domain when it comes to businesses being able to take private property.

Last summer, Tiffany, a member of the Joint Finance Committee, supported an amendment to the 2015-17 state budget that gives Enbridge Energy, a Canadian oil pipeline company, the power to condemn private property for oil pipeline operations and projects. This authority was previously granted only to private corporations licensed to do business in Wisconsin. Tiffany also voted to approve the final budget bill.