By Steve Croyle
Irresponsible City Council
TOPIC: Allocating funds to legal aid for immigrants0
$185,000 is, in terms of the city budget, “Chump Change”. Unfortunately, “Chump Change” can add up pretty quickly, and when you take into account the City’s logic with regard to tax abatements, and the passage of certain levies, it would appear that the local taxpayer dies a death by a thousands cuts. By the time everything is said and done, we’re on the hook for a lot of money.
So when Columbus City Council approved to allocate $185,000 to legal aid for immigrants facing deportation, it was cause for concern. Even though this is a relatively small amount of money, it is an overreach by local officials who seem to be funneling money to progressive charities.
Now, this could be, at least in part, a ploy to assist incumbent Council Members facing a serious challenge from the Yes We Can coalition. By allocating these funds ahead of the upcoming election, it could help quietly mobilize people in the immigrant community to support status quo.
That’s all well and good, but where’s the public referendum? Investing this amount of money to organizations that are most certainly going to skim some of that money for their “administrative” costs isn’t even serving the best interests of the immigrant community. City Council hasn’t provided any evidence of its vetting of these organizations, nor has it made public any conditional requirements for this money. Once it’s in the hands of these charitable groups, it could be spent on landscaping outside their offices, for all we know. Oh, they’ll say it was used for “outreach”, but where you say you spent money and where it actually went are two different things. Ask any husband who has had lunch at a strip club.
Funding for this sort of thing should be raised through private enterprises. If City Council wants to set aside an endowment to help aid Columbus residents directly, that’s acceptable. Drawing funds as needed from an endowment is both cost effective and verifiable. You can predetermine specifically what those funds are being used for, and distribute them directly to the legal team representing the individual in question. You could even disburse funds to charities for specific needs.
There’s little question that had this issue been brought to a public vote it would have been flatly rejected. A significant percentage of this city’s residents are xenophobic bigots who would just as soon ship anybody not white out of town on the first flight.
And perhaps that would be Council’s first line of defense. Those of us who have some trepidation over Columbus allocating chunks of money to pet causes of the individuals serving at the public’s pleasure don’t want to be lumped in with them. So a fiscally conservative Democrat risks being lumped in with Trump supporters if they complain.
But this is not to be taken lightly. This is another example of just how little our elected officials respect the public. They don’t care about our tax burden, they see the money that pours into the City’s coffers as theirs to spend. We have a City Council that meets in closed sessions to make decisions that affect us all. This whimsical expenditure was 200 grand, the next one might be 100, then another 300 grand after that. The next thing you know, Columbus has spent a million dollars with nothing to show for it. Where does it end?
The answer to that is actually quite simple: It ends when you vote for candidate who care about the voters. Even if you approve of the allocation of funds, you can’t support the process. What if this had been a Republican Council funneling money to an anti-immigration group in the same manner? The ends does not justify the means.
This money is gone. Getting angry is fine, but this is what you get when voter turnout for Council Elections is less than 20%. These people are not accountable to the majority of voters, they are accountable to groups that can raise money, and get a handful of people to show up on election day.
Elizabeth Brown took the lead on this scheme, so it will be interesting to see what sort of move she’s making in the 2018 election. Will she take a stab at Pat Tiberi’s vacated seat? If so, how much money will she get from the charities Columbus just pumped 185,000 into? Did we just watch City Council effectively donate money to a member’s future political aspirations?
Some of us will be watching.
QUICK TAKE I
Reconsidering NCAA Football
Topic: Ohio State Football
The Ohio State Buckeyes have washed the stink of a home loss to Oklahoma off with an exciting come-from-behind win over Penn State. According to the polls, Penn State was the #2 team in the country. According to anybody with sense, Penn State was another overrated team who hadn’t really played anybody.
That’s not to say that the game itself wasn’t one for the ages, but exciting barn burners like this are usually the result of some sloppy football, and that’s definitely the case here. Ohio State seems a long way from achieving the level of consistent excellence expected of a team worthy of the National Championship.
There’s a lot of work to be done, and the teams remaining on the schedule are not exactly the kind of opponents who bring out your best. This sort of thing is why Ohio State was clobbered by Clemson last year. The players on this team are just too self-absorbed to realize that they’re beating up creampuffs.
This is why the NCAA needs to create another division. This new division would be revenue based, and eliminate recruiting restrictions and academic requirements. Just eliminate the need for cheating, and let the best teams play minor league football amongst themselves. No more pretending it’s about student athletes. No more false sense of security coming from playing Indiana, Rutgers, and Maryland.
QUICK TAKE II
Image-conscious NFL sits on hands
Topic: Kneeling during anthem saga continues
Roger Goodell is a PR nightmare. His kneejerk reactions to public consternation has made the NFL look terrible, while overstepping his bounds.
The NFL doesn’t have a problem with domestic violence, or sexual assault. Instances among NFL players are actually much lower than the national average, but NFL players are more famous and they play a brutal sport.
NFL players are doing nothing wrong, or even disrespectful when they take a knee during the anthem, but Roger Goodell is scrambling to put an end to this sort of thing.
PR is everything to this guy. At least until Texans’ Owner Bob McNair butchered an expression and inadvertently compared NFL players to prison inmates when he said we (the nfl) can’t have “inmates running the prison.”
Whether he meant something racist or not doesn’t matter. This is about image, and the lack of action demonstrated here makes the NFL look hypocritical. Bob McNair’s comment upset his players, and many fans. Normally when fans are upset, Goodell falls all over himself trying to fix it. Apparently that’s not the case when the majority of the fans are black.