Although she lives outside the Spokane city limits and is no sports fan, Ruth Heumier has an opinion a couple of them, in fact about the fuss among city officials over a proposed sculpture at Joe Albi Stadium.
The artwork, tentatively titled “Joe Fan,” would be a life-size statue of a man sitting in an end-zone seat at the city-owned sports facility. Some City Council members have worried aloud that artwork intended to typify sports interest should be more inclusive of women.
“I don’t know why it is the females are getting so worked up about discrimination,” said Heumier.
But while the gender of the statue doesn’t concern her, something else does: the law that requires public money to be spent on artwork as a part of capital construction projects such as the improvements at Albi Stadium.
“If my roof leaked or if my kids needed shoes, do you think I’d spend money for a fine oil painting for my living room?” Heumier asked. “I know art is important, but it’s a misplacement of priorities.”
Like Heumier, Mary Enders of Spokane has no quarrel with Joe’s gender. “I don’t see any problem with it at all,” she said.
Line-item veto bill recalled for constitutional defects
A year after President Clinton signed the line-item veto bill that a Republican Congress sent him, a federal judge has ruled it unconstitutional.
The idea of line-item authority - something most state governors have - is to let the executive veto individual expenditures out of overall budget bills.
Advocates of the idea say it’s the best way to eliminate pork-barrel adornments without having to send an entire budget back to Congress and risk disrupting the operation of government.
Opponents, including pork-barrel virtuoso Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., say the line-item veto gives a president too much authority and upsets the balance of powers established by the Constitution.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson agreed this month with Byrd and company.
Forget constitutionality for a minute. Which would you prefer - an over-empowered president or an unrestrained congressional credit card?
And if the line-item veto poses inherent danger, have we seen evidence of it in state budget legislation?
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