One of the reasons I why I thought it was time to abandon the whole idea of a coal port was because regardless of right or wrong the battle would come at a large financial cost to Whatcom County and Bellingham. Two recent Herald articles point out one aspect of the lunacy that comes at taxpayer expense. On one hand we have some pretty powerful reasons why the City’s doesn’t want to waste resources putting the so called “Anti-Coal” initiative on the ballot.
“The initiative proposes legislation that exceeds the authority of the City of Bellingham,” the suit says. “In its fundamental overriding purpose, the initiative seeks to regulate interstate commerce, the railroads, and the rights of corporations. It also declares local ordinances to be superior to federal law and state law. The City does not have the authority to pass and enforce the measures proposed. … To pass such a law would be directly contrary to state law, the state constitution, federal law, and the United States Constitution.”
And on the other hand we have the initiative backers who don’t seem to care if the initiative is “directly contrary to state law, the state constitution, federal law, and the United States Constitution.”
BELLINGHAM – One of the leaders of the anti-coal train initiative campaign says his group will go to court to battle a city lawsuit aimed at keeping the measure off the November ballot.
Stoney Bird, the former corporate attorney named as one of the defendants in the city’s lawsuit, said he is undaunted by the seemingly overwhelming legal barriers to the initiative. As he sees it, the initiative signed by close to 10,000 people that would establish a “Community Bill of Rights” is a valid way for Bellingham citizens to determine their own environmental destiny.
Some say you can’t argue with stupid, but the reality is that the City has to argue with stupid because stupid has a lawyer. And stupid doesn’t seem to care whether they can win, they are “undaunted by the seemingly overwhelming legal barriers.” I wonder just how much will this little rendezvous with stupidity will cost us before it is all said and done?
Tags: anti-coal initiative, federal law, Stoney Bird, Bellingham Herald, initiative campaign, Coal Free Bellingham, city of Bellingham