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About Scott Rohter
Private property rights are fundamental to freedom. Without property rights freedom doesn’t exist. I have been a property rights advocate since 1995 when I wrote Oregon House Bill 3453. That was the year that the City of Eugene foreclosed on a home belonging to Jack and Betty Neely who lived in the unincorporated area just northwest of the city. This event made a lasting impression on my life and launched me on my personal path as a writer and property rights advocate.
As a private citizen I wrote Oregon House Bill 3453 which fundamentally altered the way that government foreclosure laws work in Oregon. During the 1995 session of the Oregon Legislature my Bill failed to make it out of a Senate sub-committee. Fifteen years later in 2010 the same Bill failed to receive a hearing thanks to Democrat Senator Floyd Prozanski. In 2011 thanks to Senator Prozanski again my Bill which had been renamed Senate Bill 929 was pulled from the Senate agenda, but I didn’t give up.
The legislation I wrote in 1995 brought the Oregon Constitution into compliance with the United States Constitution with regard to private property rights. It prevents a government entity from selling private property for just the amount of an unpaid lien (L.I.D. lien). In the case of Jack and Betty Neely the City of Eugene foreclosed on their home and sold it for just $7,411 dollars (the amount of a sewer line and $2,411 dollars in interest). Then one fine day the sheriff showed up at their front door and notified them that they had forty five minutes to collect all of their earthly belongings and vacate the premises.
Jack Neely died one month later of a heart attack. He was homeless and living with friends at the time he died. The cause of his death was listed as a heart attack, but he actually died of a broken heart after a five year long legal battle with the city of Eugene which turned out to be unsuccessful. He couldn’t believe that his country could do this to him and neither could I. That’s why I wrote Oregon House Bill 3453. Jack’s sister Betty not only lost her brother but she also lost all of her equity that she had built up in that house during the sixty years that she had been living there. It was all lost through a completely unconstitutional foreclosure. Eventually the issue which had precipitated the foreclosure of the Neely’s house made its way up to the Oregon Appeals Court and in a landmark decision City of Eugene v. Kashin/Nalven it was ruled that the City of Eugene had acted illegally and unconstitutuionally in requiring residents outside of the city limits to pay for city services. There is a little principle in America that our country was founded on called “No taxation without representation.”
The Neely House at 1600 Horn Lane was worth about $70,000 dollars at the time it went into foreclosure. It was sold for just over $7,000 dollars. The Neely’s were penalized $63,000 for refusing to pay five thousand dollars to hook up to the Eugene Municipal Wastewater Treatment System. That violated the 4th, 5th, and 8th Amendments of the United States Constitution.
In March 2012 the Bill that I wrote in 1995 became House Bill 4111 and it finally did receive a hearing in the Committee on General Government and Consumer Protection. That was seventeen years after I wrote it, and two years after I asked Floyd Prozanski to do something about it. In 2010 Senator Prozanski failed to get a hearing for the Bill. In 2011 year he personally killed the Bill, but in 2012 the results were very different. It passed the Oregon Legislature unanimously proving that determination does indeed pay off. My thanks go out to State Representative Jim Weidner who sponsored the Bill in 2012, and to fellow property rights activist and lawyer Dave Hunicutt from the advocacy group Oregonians in Action who worked very hard on behalf of my Bill. That made all the difference in the world and my gratitude goes out to both of them.
In 2008 I exposed and successfully opposed the Oregon D.M.V.’s practice of allowing law enforcement officers to anonymously report Oregon drivers to the Department of Motor Vehicles for retesting. At the time the State of Oregon had over 30,000 secret files on Oregon drivers.
I am also the author and publisher of www.lessgovisthebestgov.com a website advocating for return to the principles of limited Constitutional government. My articles have been republished on many other sites across America.
In 2006 I published a poem about America’s open border called An Open Border – America’s Achilles-Heel. It was later published on the conservative website WeNeedaFence.com.