Local Control

Every third person in Mississippi is obese. Drinking super-sized sodas with 51 sugar cubes worth of sweetness in them is one reason why. But the GOP controlled legislature wants to protect their diabetes prone voters from having any local community deny them the right to chug those sodas down like the “nanny state” Mayor of New York attempted to do.

A Judge recently overturned New York’s right to impose its anti super size rule because it unfairly imposes the limit on only some soda vendors. Even so the Mayor and the city council were exercising another notion that has been popular with Republicans – “local control.” I had to agree with the Mississippi City Councilor who resents the state legislature clipping his municipality’s wings.

Local control has been a big deal in discussions of Education. Nationally Republicans moaned about how Federal Education rules kept tying the hands of local school boards. GOP Governor Tim Pawlenty used “local control” as his ultimate justificatioin for letting the Duluth School District push through its Red Plan without a routine referendum. I always thought that that was a shoddy excuse for letting the community decide the fate of the Red Plan. The School Board of 2006 that gave us the Red Plan never campaigned to institute the near half billion dollar monstrosity whose costs have continued to creep up over the last six years.

I don’t demand pure consistency from politicians. I’m not always consistent myself. Times change and flexibility has its virtues. Still, when its just an empty slogan its not much to hang one’s hat on.

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