Worcester City Council: no to Arizona boycott
Worcester’s City Councilors have a rough job, and I respect them for doing it. But tonight a lot of them acted like cowards and hypocrites.
Three years after voting unanimously to divest from Sudan over the violence in Darfur, tonight they voted, 7-4, that discussion of a similar city boycott of Arizona over the recent immigration law would not be “germane” to the business of the council.
Of the 7 voting to not even discuss the Arizona issue,
6 (if memory serves) were OK with the Sudan divestment–Haller, Clancy, Palmieri, Lukes, Toomey, and Petty. Toomey was absent. Eddy also voted against discussion, but I don’t think he was on the Council for the Sudan vote.
It’s interesting to note that one of 3 Worcester residents who spoke in favor of the Sudan vote in 2007, Joe O’Brien, is now the mayor and a supporter of the Arizona boycott.
Update: I made a mistake in not noting that at least one of the original supporters of the boycott no longer wanted it brought up:
But when that item came up for discussion last night, Mr. Rushton moved to have it “filed,” which is the equivalent of placing it in the parliamentary wastebasket. . . .
Councilor Clancy challenged that the issue wasn’t germane, after which the mayor ruled it was, after which the full Council voted it wasn’t.
Jeff Barnard has more thoughts on this angle.
Another update: Note that Toomey, who voted against discussing the Arizona issue, was absent from the Sudan vote.
Related from Worcester Magazine: Liveblogged notes from the meeting
Via Nick, here’s the video of the discussion: