Fought the law

I recently commented on the bass-ackwards transportation initiative taking place in a couple of weeks here in Tucson, noting that the city's pro-plan advertising had been found illegal. The city appealed, citing some silly free speech ideas* and arguing that its materials are, in fact, legal.

Yesterday, the city won its appeal, with a judge ruling that the material does not openly advocate a position on the initiative. To make sure I'm clear: The city can spend three-quarters of a million bucks on TV ads and pamphlets about an initiative, in which they never once mention the potential disadvantages of the plan? Sounds like boosterism to me.

But it gets even better! The lawyer who originally filed suit against the city hasn't had a license to practice law for two years! I'd toss him out on his ass, too. Moron.

My latest favorite pro-prop100/400 advertisement: An old lady, filmed in grainy video, driving down the street, saying with a quivering voice "I shouldn't be afraid to drive!" Maybe other drivers should be afraid of her, because she looks into the camera and not at the road for the entire commercial! In tiny white letters at the bottom of the screen comes the punchline: Paid for by Jim Click [auto dealer] and Don Diamond [megabucks real estate developer].

So I say it again, Tucson readers, in my whiny drum-banging fashion: Say no to prop100 and prop400!

* No, I don't think that free speech claims are normally silly. But this one is. It's against the law for the city to advocate a ballot position. Jim "Pollution" Click and Don "Sprawl" Diamond can say whatever they want, but the city cannot.