JACKSON — Ron Aldridge, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, has released a statement in response to a lawsuit filed by Leland Speed, executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority, to stop a vote on eminent domain.
Speed filed the lawsuit as an individual, not as leader of the MDA.
Aldridge wrote: “I appreciate Leland Speed’s efforts on behalf of our state, but it’s quite upsetting that he would try to prevent the citizens of Mississippi from voting on a state constitutional amendment that would protect their property rights.
“Most people can’t easily afford private attorneys to defend their rights when the government tries to take their land and give it to someone else. That’s why more than 119,000 Mississippi taxpayers and voters signed the petition to have this constitutional amendment put on the ballot.
“It’s one thing for government to take private property for longstanding and well-agreed public uses, but it’s just plain wrong for big business to get its buddies in the government to take someone’s home, business or farm so someone else can develop the land or secure a better location. NFIB joined other business groups in fighting to get this proposed state constitutional amendment on the November ballot.
“As the head of the Mississippi Development Authority, Leland Speed should refrain from trying to legally obstruct the will of the people of Mississippi. He should voice his opinion and then join the other voters of Mississippi at the polls in November to decide for themselves whether it’s OK for the government to take their property and give it to someone else.”