Online Video highlights Eminent Domain Abuse Against NJ Family Business: Americans for Prosperity, 5/11/07

News release

The New Jersey chapter of Americans for Prosperity (AFP) today released an online video chronicling a wrongful eminent domain case that could lead to the eviction on Tuesday of Manny Amaral and his family from their auto dealership - just so the city government can transfer their property to private condo developers.

Manny and Fran Amaral came to the United States from Portugal more than 30 years ago. In the years since, the Amarals have worked hard, paid their taxes, played by the rules, and ultimately achieved that American Dream. Today they own Aramal Auto Sales in Harrison, NJ, with their two sons. But now the city government is planning to seize the Amaral's property so a developer can knock down their family business and build condos.

"If a well-managed, successful dealership full of BMWs, Cadillacs, Lexuses, Audis, Mercedes, and even Lamborghinis can be declared 'blight,' condemned and taken by the government under an abusive and wrongful claim on 'eminent domain,' then anybody's property can be condemned," said Steven Lonegan, Director of Americans for Prosperity's New Jersey chapter.

AFP's online video, which can be viewed on YouTube at

includes a call to contact New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine and their state lawmakers and features emotional pleas from Manny and Fran Amaral in front of the Statue of Liberty.

"I remember seeing the Statue, and my sister...turned to me and said, 'We are in America!' with a big smile on her face, and we both hugged...and said 'Yes! Finally!'" Mrs. Amaral explains in the video. "But now I look at this Statue, and it brings me tears."

"Some people (back in Portgual) have the wrong idea about America, and I always defend this country with all my heart and with all my love," Manny Amaral said. "Now I have very mixed feelings because I believed in all the things that I've been told and I've read and I've seen about freedom in the country, but the last couple of years I've seen a side of this country that I can't believe is going on. This is a nightmare..."

AFP is a grassroots organization committed to advancing individualss rights to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and scope of government is the best safeguard to ensuring individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. AFP educates and engages citizens in support of restraining state and federal government growth, and returning government to its constitutional limits.

Americans for Prosperity: http://www.americansforprosperity.org