Here is a performing artist who releases a single and decides to give the proceeds to his favorite organization–or at least an organization which will get him plenty of media exposure. Nothing wrong with that. The organization then puts out a press release:
Ry Cooder created his new single “Quicksand” in response to anti-immigrant law SB 1070 and the ongoing Arizona immigration battle. SB 1070 requires police to demand ‘papers’ from people they stop who they suspect are “unlawfully present” in the U.S. As described by Cooder, “Quicksand” is a slow-burning rocker that tells the story of six would-be immigrants making their way from Mexico to the Arizona border. Today, Ry Cooder’s “Quicksand” went on sale exclusively on iTunes, and Cooder has pledged to donate all proceeds from the song to MALDEF.
Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel, stated that “Defeating Arizona’s SB 1070 – and the potential copycat laws that have since been announced by unscrupulous legislators around the nation – will require a broad national community effort to reinforce the constitutional principles and values that characterize our nation. Our heartfelt thanks to Ry Cooder for being a leader in that necessary community effort.”
Leaving aside the first paragraph, I’d like to look at the part which I have made bold in the second. Defeating a law (passed at the state level) which says we need to enforce the law (established at the federal level) will require that we reinforce “constitutional principles and values”? Allow me to say that these principles and values are apparently derived from a living constitution, because I find no principles whatsoever in the Constitution of these United States which encourages anyone to throw over the rule of law. In fact, I–as a number of apparently “unscrupulous” other people find that the Constitution supports the exact opposite–and in fact vests even more power in the hands of the several states than it does in the federal government.
It would appear that Mr. Saenz (now president of MALDEF) was the former general counsel to Mayor Villaraigosa of Los Angeles during the time that Villaraigosa appears to have accepted tens of thousands of dollars in tickets to sporting and other entertainment events–without declaring them in accordance with the law. Did he (Saenz) have knowledge of these contributions in kind? Hard to know at this point, but I find it improbable that he was unaware of the Mayor’s proclivity to attend high-profile, high-dollar affairs. Perhaps he simply failed to connect the dots. If so, he did his client no favors.
Speaking of the rule of law:
ALRA [Arizona Latino Republican Association] will become the first group of Latino Americans to “put a foot forward legally” in support of S.B. 1070 by filing a motion to intervene against the Justice Department’s lawsuit challenging Arizona’s immigration policy, Klayman said. “This is a way to tell the country that, ‘Hey, we’re Americans too and we believe in the rule of law,” Klayman told Foxnews.com. “It’s a way to say, ‘We got here legally and we contributed a great deal. We want the rest of the country to recognize that we’re with you’ [in the national immigration debate].
Of course, these people will no doubt be termed traitors by other members of their ethnic group, but that’s a price they are willing to pay to stand up for what is entirely scrupulous.