Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The constitution and our laws

I think our Town Council Chair Gary Foster may be fooling us with his quiet manner. His ready smile hides some very deep thinking, as shown in his letter to the editor in the Portland Press-Herald last week.
In his letter, Mr. Foster presents the argument that the "late" TABOR petitions were not late at all, since state constitutional rules supercede laws. The TABOR petitions were delivered within the time frame allowed under state constitution and therefore must be accepted. A very well-presented argument that I buy into. Bravo!
Now for my twist on the issue . . . 
The town recently asked anyone gathering signatures for the recall petition to leave the library, since the town has a policy against political campaign literature inside public buildings. This policy is spelled out under Personnel Policies and can be found on the town website.
However, if the state constitution trumps state law, should federal constitutional rights trump town policy?
I would agree that the town has the right to request that no person or persons campaign in public buildings during regular business hours. And I believe that policy has been evenly enforced for everyone over the years.
It's interesting to look at this issue from a different angle, much as Mr. Foster has in looking at the issue surrounding the TABOR petitions.
Nathan Tsukroff