Missouri's Eminent Domain Battles Caught on Film in "Begging for Billionaires"

Jim Roos - www.ij.org
Jim Roos
Begging for Billionaires, a documentary feature examining eminent domain "abuse" in Missouri, makes its initial screening next month in (of all places) Minnesota. 

The film -- nine years in the making -- debuts May 2 as a "Best of Fest" selection at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival.

Telling the story of land owners fighting to keep their properties from private developers, the movie spends much of its time in St. Louis with subjects such as Jim Roos. A Lutheran minister, Roos waged an eminent-domain battle with St. Louis City over the redevelopment of the McRee Town neighborhood. He is perhaps best known, however, as the man responsible for that huge sign painted on a house in the Lafayette Square neighborhood that reads: "End Eminent Domain Abuse.")

The film also tells the story of JoAnne Bailey, a woman in Richmond Heights whose home is tied up in the stalled Hadley Township Redevelopment, and Homer Tourkakis, an Arnold dentist forced to re-locate his dental office when the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that a shopping center proposal took priority over his business.

Read more about the documentary, and its subjects, at www.beggingforbillionaires.com. View a trailer for Begging for Billionaires after the jump. 

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