Case Study: Eminent Domain Ballot Initiatives

  • 11/02/2006 12:00 AM
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The Challenge:
Kelo v. City of New London was a case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States involving the use of eminent domain to transfer land from one private owner to another private owner to further economic development. In a 5–4 decision, the Court held that the general benefits a community enjoyed from economic growth qualified private redevelopment plans as a permissible "public use" under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment. In 2006, Political Media helped several conservative groups in nine states to promote ballot initiatives protecting land owners by curbing Eminent Domain.
Our Action:
In order to educate, enrage, and engage, we created an animated parody of the HBO Series “The Sopranos.” This three and a half minute spoof depicted elected officials running a mob-style government in order to evict property owners for the benefit of the mafia led “Bada-Bing Development Corporation.”  Each animation was customized for each state, based on issue and locality.
The Result:
Prior to launch, Political Media led an informal focus group and discovered 20 out of 24 likely voters had not even heard the term “Eminent Domain.” However, after playing the web-animated parody, all 24 not only understood the issue, but also became passionate about preventing Eminent Domain abuse. After Election Day, we successfully won eight out of nine ballot initiatives.

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