Well, they did it. Toledo City Council decided that taking a position against Arizona's immigration law was more important than a host of other issues, including our city's high unemployment rate, looming deficits, over-spending, trash tax lawsuit, loss of population, loss of businesses, 'not-business-friendly' reputation, etc..., etc..., etc...
Thankfully, there are two sane people on council, Tom Waniewski and Rob Ludeman, who realize this is completely outside their purview as members of that body and voted no. One can only wonder what happened to the other Republican, George Sarantou, who switched his vote to yes for this particular non-binding, non-enforceable resolution.
What Arizona does on behalf of their own citizens is their own business. It should come as no surprise to regular readers of this blog that I'm a strong proponent of states' rights, including their ability to protect their residents and their residents' property. I'm also a strong proponent of the limited Constitutional authority for the federal government. I recognize and appreciate that the federal government has jurisdiction over immigration but in Arizona's case, their law complements - not contradicts - federal law (despite what others may say - read the law yourself and you'll see) and the federal government has failed to perform its duty to secure our borders. Furthermore, the federal government wants to sue Arizona when it believes their state law is contradicting a federal law, but when other cities and states contradict federal law (sanctuary cities, for instance), the federal government turns a blind eye. Hypocrisy and double standards are always a target on this blog.
But when it comes to Toledo City Council, they've opened a very wide door and I believe they will regret it.
First, let's look at council itself. Our council members are elected to represent our wishes. There is no way that they can know the wishes of the majority of Toledoans when it comes to Arizona's law. They might be able to infer our wishes based upon national polls. But if that was the case, they'd be supporting Arizona's law - not opposing it.
They might claim that, by virtue of being elected, they can substitute their own personal opinions for the opinions of the city as a whole. I might go so far as to support such a position if - and this is a big if - any one of them had run on a platform that even remotely included the issue of immigration or illegal aliens. None of them did.
So they are, in reality, substituting their own personal opinion for the will of the people since they did not take the time to survey the residents they are supposed to represent and they were not elected on a platform that included this issue.
So if they believe this type of opinionated legislation is right and proper, what else might they include? Aye, there's the rub!
These 10 members of Toledo City Council, in voting yes on the resolution, have failed to confine their actions to issues relevant only to their duties as a member of our council. As a result, they are now subject to being held accountable for positions/opinions on a host of issues.
After all, if they are going to weigh in on an Arizona law and do so under the color of their office, I want to know where they stand on all kinds of things, because it's obvious they might decide to address just about anything under the sun.
And they cannot ignore, brush aside or refuse to provide their stance on everything else by saying it's not relevant to their job. While I agree it shouldn't be relevant, they have made it so.
So here are the questions these 10 members of Toledo City Council should be required to answer:
* What is your position on Elena Kagan and do you believe someone with her activist attitude should be confirmed to the Supreme Court?
* What is your position on 'don't ask, don't tell' and do you believe it is a good policy or a bad one - and should the federal government continue it or abolish it?
* What is your position on holding terrorists at Guantanamo Bay?
* What is your position on federal funding of abortion?
* What is your position on the war in Iraq?
* What is your position on the war in Afghanistan?
* What is your position on foreign aid and do you believe the Constitution grants the federal government the authority to give it out?
* What is your position on the 17th Amendment? Would you support its repeal?
* What is your position on the 10th Amendment and what actions are you willing to take to support it?
* What is your position on 'cap-and-trade' which, as most proponents agree, will raise our energy prices?
* What is your position on regulation of the Internet?
* What is your position on federal regulation of salt and other products/ingredients that bureaucrats and politicians think are bad for us?
* What is your position on drilling for oil - in the Gulf and in Alaska - and what is your position on Pres. Obama's moratorium which was declared unconstitutional?
* What is your position on Minnesota's law banning sleeping in the nude?
* What is your position on Virgina's law that makes it illegal to tickle women?
And you may come up with some questions of your own, but the point is that we have every right - in fact, a responsibility - to determine the position of our council members on all these issues since they have proven they will pass legislation supporting or opposing anything they want.
In catering to a small group of individuals - perhaps contrary to what the majority of Toledoans want - they have subjected themselves to such scrutiny. And we ought to give it to them.
So the next time you see a member of Toledo City Council - hold them accountable!