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As an initial matter, the GA Const. specifically rejects this argument. The Supreme Court has specifically denied this rationale, and referred to this position as flawed, unlawful, and otherwise unconstitutional. The "ends justify the means" philosophy in the governmental arena is a petri dish for abuse, waste, fraud, and corruption (See Gwinnett County, circa previous ten years). As a follow on, there is exactly zero proof of the Chamber's efficient use of "your" money. In fact, if you believe the ROI they allege, they would be returning a yield exponentially greater than Mr. Madoff. If they were that savvy, they wouldn't need tax dollars (their private membership contributions would be historical). Sunshine is the best disinfectant!
The rationale of the "ends justify the mean," is a dangerous mentality when it comes to government policy and activity. The analysis should begin with "what is the statutory or constitutional authority for this action/expenditure." Too often we have elected officials who fail to understand the limits of their authority. The Gwinnett Solid Waste Ordinance and Chamber funding are prime examples of our elected representatives being improperly influenced (and quite honestly, outsmarted) by select members of the private sector.
What is particular disheartening is that these representatives are completely oblivious to the outrage and anger expressed by their constituents. As a former CPA and Chief Financial Officer of a public company, if I presented to my BOD a single one page excel spreadsheet to justify the expenditure of millions of dollars, I would be summarily excused from my employment. Try that at your job and see how that is received.
The Chamber suit is simply about information and ensuring that taxpayer dollars are being spent lawfully. Only then can we begin to debate the advisability of such expenditures.
While I agree that those living here should take personal responsibility for learning English, and many do, the Constitution requires a level of due process that obviously requires that a defendant understand the charges against him, has an attorney who can discuss his case and assist in preparation of his case, understand witnesses, be able to testify in his own behalf (should he desire to waive his 5th Amend. right), etc. The reality is that many do not speak or understand English. Judges don't allow people in the Country illegally, they do not arrest people, they do not prosecute people, and they do not defend people. THEY DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION FOR ALL PEOPLE. This means providing due process, including the opportunity to be heard. What would be the alternative to providing translation services? Not hear the cases, have every defendant file a habeas action, languish in local jails costing hundreds of millions, and providing a defendant with the world's greatest appellate issue?
We all want everybody to pay their fair share. My response was simply a recognition that translation services are required under the Constitution. I personally agree with retiring Judge Bob Mock, who provides defendant's with adequate counsel, investigative funds, and competent translators; and, if convicted, requires the defendant to repay the cost of such services as a condition of their sentence/probation. www.mcclurgforjudge.com
Last login: Friday, November 23, 2012