The Pine Cone's editorial of the week

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Editorial: Encouraging people to break the law

Published: May 27, 2011

IN 2003, Democrats in the state Legislature and Gov. Gray Davis put together a last-minute bill to let illegal immigrants have driver’s licenses. But the people of California were so outraged, the measure was quickly repealed. And so powerful is public sentiment against letting illegals have driver’s licenses, no serious effort has been made to revive the 2003 bill.

But that doesn’t mean the open-borders crowd in the Legislature has given up. Illegals can't have driver's licenses, you say? Then they'll just make it legal to drive without one.

As strange as it may seem, that’s the obvious intent behind AB 1389, which was authored by Sonoma County Assemblyman Michael Allen and is attracting considerable support from groups such as the ACLU and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund. The bill targets DUI checkpoints, which apparently have been netting a lot more unlicensed drivers than drunk ones.

“In many cities throughout California, as many as 20 vehicles of unlicensed drivers are towed for each DUI arrest made,” according to Allen’s office.

But instead of seeing that statistic as worrying proof of the huge number of unlicensed (and uninsured) drivers on the road, Allen and his supporters see it as evidence of unfair targeting of illegal immigrants by law enforcement. Their solution? Make it illegal for cops at DUI checkpoints to ask anybody for his driver’s license unless he appears to be intoxicated, and for a vehicle to be impounded because the driver doesn’t have a California driver’s license if he has never had one.

Come again?

You read that right. According to the brilliant thinking of Allen, cops should be prohibited from asking to see the driver’s license of somebody at a DUI checkpoint unless he appears to be drunk. And not having a California license should be considered a big problem if the driver is a citizen or legal resident, but not if he’s an illegal.

And those aren’t the only bizarre aspects of the law.

One section requires law enforcement to give 48 hours’ notice of where a DUI checkpoint will be.

Another specifies that only drivers who choose to pass through the checkpoint will be scrutinized.

And another doozy mandates that an unlicensed illegal immigrant driver be permitted to move his vehicle to a nearby parking space to wait for a licensed driver to arrive to take it away. And if he can’t do it, the cops have to move it for him.

If this bill passes, the only possible conclusion will be that our legislators have lost their minds. How else to explain their desire to encourage people to break the law?

Editorial: It's not bias if it's true

ACCORDING TO an “expert” hired by the attorney for Tom Pollacci, Monterey Peninsula residents are biased against Pollacci because they use words such as “despicable,” “scuzz bag,” and “evil” to describe him.

However, Pollacci is a convicted rapist. Testimony at his trial last year made it clear he’s also committed horrible deeds for which he’s never been prosecuted.

Therefore, he is despicable and evil.

A “bias” or a “prejudice” is an unwarranted negative belief.

If it’s hard to find a jury that doesn’t hold a negative opinion about him, that’s not the fault of the citizenry. It’s his fault.