Tuesday, June 15, 2010

City Council's Arizona Boycott- sort of.

When the City Council decided that part of the job of managing the City of Los Angeles also included managing not just another city's business, but that of another state, Arizona.

Arizona's bill that passed, modeled after federal law, creates another statute to deal with the illegal immigration problem within the Arizona borders. The outpouring of criticism of the statute appears to have been made in many instances, and by persons of relative importance, without it ever being read.

One very vivid example was presented that was pretty amazing for what it demonstrated. This was within the Obama administration itself, no stranger again for making hasty statements on matters. So you have persons including the U.S. Atty. General Eric H. Holder, Jr., testifying about his views that he stated were formed without reading the law.

"Holder Admits to Not Reading Arizona's Immigration Law Despite Criticizing It," Published May 14, 2010. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/05/13/holder-admits-reading-arizonas-immigration-law-despite-slamming/

I recall that he mentiond the media as his source for forming his views during that session. So if this is the way the chief lawyer for the U.S. acts when he's expected to be better informed than just going by what he's heard, who can fault the rest for doing the same. (Except that this guy is getting paid to know such items of legal substance and if this were the private sector that employed him, he'd be looking for new job the next day.)

Here's the link to the YouTube video on the exchange (time: 3:53) that's also linked in the story above. "Eric Holder on Arizona Law: 'I have not read it yet'," http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rH1FEcbi4A (By the way, Rep. Ted Poe who is doing the questioning was a state court judge beginning in 1981 and a felony prosecutor for 8 years before that.)

Council members approved the boycott, in a vote on the motion made by Janice Hahn during her campaign period for Lt. Governor, and Council president, Eric Garcetti, who might be even more disastrous than Villaraigosa if he ever becomes mayor.

The boycott that was so quickly adopted by the Council of course like most things that they do in their rushes to judgment, is not clearly a boycott in purist terms. There are lots of exemptions and exceptions that had to be made to keep the City from shooting itself in the foot.

The case of the Agenda Item 23 today, Tuesday, June 15, 2010, is one of those exceptions. The choice is to boycott or carve out an exception since this is something that may have some actual benefit to the LAPD, one of the pioneers in using helicopters as part of the law enforcement tools, now commonly used by the departments across the country.

The City Council might have considered using "prioritization" and working on getting the budget settled and not spending time and energy on a non-city, non-California items. But there's so much the Council is doing poorly, so what's another bad choice going to mean to them anyway? They have since authorized a amicus curiae brief to be drafted and submitted in the litigation on the Arizona law. So we have more expenditures of taxpayer money on items that do not have an impact on us and the bried if one of dozens, which means that unless L.A. finds something novel that other lawyers missed, it won't matter much in the big picture here. And in the face of the City Attorney's office being the subject of the reduction of their numbers by 100 according to Villaraigosa's budget proposal, it's not a good application of resources. But that's my view and you already know that there's lot's more poor application of resources by the Council and Mayor that a book could be written about it. Several books if you get into the unethical aspect, the intimidation and the political payoffs and bartering of appointments and intentional deceptions made upon the public. "Transparency" in city government is purely theoretical under Villaraigosa's leadership and Garcetti's own manipulations in the City Council.

And let's add the choice on the Agenda that they have to make today on an exception to the boycott:
ITEM NO. (23)

MOTION (SMITH - PARKS) relative to Council authorizing a one-time exemption to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) to attend the annual Airborne Law Enforcement Association Conference in Tucson, Arizona from July 12 through July 17, 2010.

Recommendation for Council action:

AUTHORIZE a one-time exemption to the LAPD to enable four officers to attend the annual Airborne Law Enforcement Association Conference in Tucson, Arizona from July 12 through July 17, 2010.

And so much more to consider. March 2011 will be elections for even-numbered council districts.