Monday, January 31, 2011

Richmond Hypocrisy

One of the big complaints from Tea Partiers and other conservatives is what they see as "meddling," "interference," etc. from Washington in local affairs. Keep the feds off our backs, they say.

We hear the same thing from Virginia's TP'ers. But while they want Washington out of local affaris, they evidently have no problem with imposing RICHMOND into local affairs.

Put aside that under Virginia law local governments have to get permission from the General Assembly to do just about anything, including imposing new taxes. (In contrast, the 10th amendment to the U.S. Constitution makes clear that the states have the right to do anything not specifically reserved to the federal government.)

We also have Delegates who like to impose their mores on jurisdictions they don't represent. The latest is a bill from Delegate David Albo, a Republican of the Tea Party ilk from Fairfax County, that would prevent Virginia localities from restricting the "enforcement of federal immigration laws to less than the full extent permitted by federal law." Albo doesn't like the fact that Arlington briefly discussed "opting out" of the federal government's "secure communities" initiative due to strict immigration enforcement issues.

Arlington has since concluded that it cannot opt out of the secure communities program. Furthermore, Arlington cannot "restrict" the enforcement of federal laws--the federal government can enforce those laws in Arlington to its heart's delight. So Albo's proposal is superfluous.

We have a suggestion, however: the General Assembly should simply pass a law that prohibits all Virginia localities--and the STATE (including the Attorney General)--from restricting the "enforcement of [ALL] federal laws to less than the full extent permitted by federal law." Somehow, we don't think that would go down with the TP'ers.

Memo to Albo and cohorts: if you don't want the feds to meddle in Virginia, then don't have the Commonwealth meddle in localities.

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