From Neo-Neocon’s excellent blog: Donald Trump loves the regular folks—unless their homes happen to stand in Trump’s way
As a large-scale real estate developer, Trump has sometimes sued in his efforts to use government to condemn houses belonging to people of modest means whose homes—which Trump considers insufficiently attractive—have stood near his big developments and have chosen to exercise their liberty by refusing to sell to him. That’s one of the reasons Trump agrees 100% with the SCOTUS decision in Kelo (decided in 2005): he sees it making it easier for him to use government to compel the sale of a person’s house even against that person’s will.
It’s Trump’s prerogative to approve of Kelo, and it’s certainly understandable that someone in his line of work might have that point of view. He has every right to build his projects, and to try to buy the land of those with adjacent property. But if more people knew about the tactics he has used in trying to get government to force people out of their homes against their will, and his own condescending and often insulting comments about those same people and their modest homes, he might not be seen in such a positive light. With Trump, the legal often seems to segue into the personal.
There are several examples. One occurred in the 1990s, when Trump was trying to buy the home of a 70-ish Atlantic City widow named Vera Coking. He wanted her property not for building his casino, but in order to use the land as a waiting area for limos. She had lived in the same place for three decades, and said no to Trump’s offer to buy. After that, Trump tried to get the city to condemn her property and buy it for a reduced sum, and the court battle took five years.
. . .
Ms. Coking had said earlier that “This is my home. This is my castle.” Trump had disagreed; he had built a different kind of castle with a different kind of aesthetic, and he made it clear that her home didn’t fit into his picture:
Everybody coming into Atlantic City sees that [Coking] property,” Trump continued…”They’re staring at this terrible house instead of staring at beautiful fountains and beautiful other things that would be good.”
Here’s a picture of the Ms. Coking’s “terrible” house, in front of Trump’s casino:
As Neo says, “I’m not sure everyone would agree as to which of the two buildings is more aesthetically pleasing.”