As our frequent readers know, on most Wednesdays we like to call out politicians or activists who are not being Bold.  Well we’re not calling out any wimps this Wednesday.  Instead, we’re going to start acknowledging political movers and shakers in our state who are exemplify Bold leadership. It’s caused us to create a new “award” called the “Bold Badge.”

Our first Bold Badge recipient is State Senator Colby Coash.  Coash is a moderate Republican who has been part of the Beatrice State Developmental Center reform and is overseeing the privatization of child welfare services (which he admits has not been going well). We recently received Coash’s constituent letter, and his thoughts on immigration legislation going through the state legislature greatly heartened us.

Coash begins his thoughts on immigration by acknowledging the public’s justified anger because of the federal government’s inaction.  But Coash condemns any state legislation that will cost taxpayers millions of dollars, like Arizona’s SB 1070.  (If you need catching up, extreme conservative State Senator Charlie Janssen wants to introduce Arizona-like legislation in January.)

Senator Coash’s firm stance that local law enforcement should not be used to enforcement national immigration laws is spot on.  Immigration law and enforcement is the purview of the federal government.  State leaders would do better to pressure federal officials to pass comprehensive immigration reform than to waste taxpayer money defending irresponsible legislation.

Coash’s well-worded newsletter comes out as the the Somos Republicans are proposing a Nebraska Compact.  The compact would be signed by state leaders and lay out guidelines for debating and addressing immigration in the state.

People from all sides of the political spectrum are speaking out against Arizona-like legislation being introduced in Nebraska.  It looks like Heineman doesn’t have the iron-clad grip on public opinion that he’s previously enjoyed.

For standing up to members of his party and taken a common sense approach to state immigration legislation, we award State Senator Colby Coash the Bold Badge.