When in comes to property rights, all eyes are on Oregon as voters there consider trimming backMeasure 37. But in some ways, Oregon isn’t the most interesting game in town. That honor may belong to Alaska, where voters in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough will weigh 2007’s only regulatory takings ballot initiative in the form of Proposition 1.

While the “Mat-Su” isn’t known much outside of Alaska, it will be an interesting laboratory for examining the next round of “property rights” arguments. It’s likely that activists will try to improve their rhetoric and strategies after their not-terribly-successful outing to the polls in 2006.

I’ll have more to say on Proposition 1 in the coming months, but in the meantime you can find good newspaper coverage here and here.

And here the local paper, the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersmen, inveighs against the measure in an editorial that appears to have been truncated on the web. Still, I thought there was some apt language, so I’ll close with an excerpt:

In this case, one’s rights can make a wrong for all. Hogtying the borough, a city or any special district in how it makes public land use policy will result in a chaotic, expensive system no agency could possibly afford.

Oh, I almost forgot: I do have one big criticism of the editorial’s language. Prop 1 isn’t really a threat to what an “agency” can afford; it’s a threat to what the public—you know, citizens and taxpayers—can afford.