26 Feb 2012

Johnson, PANDAA fall short of goals

Author: Nathan Lowe | Filed under: BGSU, Local stories, Spring 2012, Student Contributor

More than 100 members of a community organization opposing the National Defense Authorization Act were expected to attend the Bowling Green City Council meeting on Tuesday night.

Most of them must have been busy studying for midterms or planning spring vacations. About 15 members of People Against the National Defense Authorization Act showed up to voice their disagreement with the federal act.

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Those who did attend quicklylearned that city council had no interest in introducing legislation against provisions of the NDAA.

Despite wet conditions outside, the group’s leader and founder, BGSU freshman Dan Johnson, didn’t let the rain wash away his passion for politics.

Johnson, a native of Ypsilanti, Mich., originally proposed a resolution to city council three weeks ago that would prohibit any city official from cooperating with the detainment of Bowling Green residents.

He said his resolution would allow city council to legally sue the federal government and force the return of detained citizens.

PANDAA member Sam Link spoke briefly prior to Johnson and asked city council members and
staff to consider nullifying the act in front of a standing-room-only crowd.

“If you are asking me whether or not this can be done,” City Attorney Michael Marsh said, “the answer is ‘No.’

“I don’t think it is possible for a city council to nullify a federal act,” said Marsh, who noted that federal laws supersede state and local laws.

BGSU sophomore Ian Zulick also spoke on behalf of PANDAA, calling the act “insidious” and a “violation of our personal rights.”

Opponents of NDAA not affiliated with PANDAA also took to center stage—with the same results.

“We believe that legislation like this comes with too many costs,” said Michael Thurau, a graduate student at BGSU and member of Occupy Bowling Green. “The consequences are not worth the benefits.”

Nathan Eberly, chairman of the Libertarian Party of Wood County, said city council owes the citizens of Bowling Green its support of this issue although it cannot legally nullify the act.

“Even if this is just a symbolic gesture by the City of Bowling Green, we urge city council to look over this resolution,” he said.

John Zanfardino, second ward incumbent and council president, quickly ended the discussion before the city council approved several ordinances described on the meeting agenda.

“Nothing we can do here will nullify the NDAA,” Zanfardino said.

Council also:

  • Named former Mayor John Quinn mayor emeritus and honored his services to the city.
  • Approved legislation to provide for the issuance and sale of $2.75 million in notes for the purpose of financing repairs on North Main Street.
  • Accepted the appointment of First Ward council member Daniel Gordon to the City Transit Advisory Board.

Bowling Green City Council home page

Meeting agenda

Legislation adopted at meeting


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