After a weekend when the issue of use of eminent domain to aid a private developer became a flash point between Governor Jeb Bush and Donald Trump, here in Watertown the precise same issue continues to be discussed in relation to Western Boulevard, the connector road through Stateway Plaza.
Mr. Bush took after Mr. Trump for a bid to employ municipal eminent domain not for public improvements but for economic development, specifically to build a parking lot for a casino.
Eminent domain is an issue in Republican politics, and increasingly city officials here have been stating openly the Stateway taking is specifically to benefit developer Patrick Donegan who has lobbied hard for it and last fall contributed the maximum amount allowed to Council candidate Demar who advocated for the taking and a contribution (later returned) to then mayoral candidate Joe Butler, Jr.
It's sometimes ironic how an issue like eminent domain can suddenly be on the national stage in a way that Republicans might be reluctant to get too close to it.
Maybe City Hall needs to make the case what they are pursuing (no matter who pays for it) is an improvement that accrues to the public's benefit and not something "promised" to one person.
The Bush-Trump exchange flared in a televised debate on ABC on Saturday night.