Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, is one of the last Republicans you'd expect to play a constructive role in the stalemated budget talks. He's a Tea Party guy, and his whole campaign was a rebuke to Anthony Adams, one of the "traitors" who voted for tax increases back in 2009.
So as Sacramento remains fixated on the budget, Donnelly has some time on his hands. What's he doing with it?
Well, last night he was in Fresno trying to get an illegal immigrant removed from student government.
The immigrant in question is Pedro Ramirez, the student body president who was outed as an illegal immigrant by an anonymous e-mailer in November. Ramirez' parents brought him to the U.S. from Mexico when he was 3 years old.
Ramirez was injured in a car crash in January. According to news reports, he was driving an intoxicated friend home when he crashed into a tree. He was investigated for driving without a license, an infraction for which he will likely end up paying a small fine. (Why doesn't he have a license? Because illegal immigrants can't get them.)
So to recap: The crime here is crashing into a tree while being an illegal immigrant. A student senate committee held a hearing last night on whether this is enough of a reason to oust Ramirez from his position as student body president.
Donnelly drove three hours from Sacramento to support the removal effort.
"This issue is about breaking the law and driving without a license," Donnelly told the Fresno Bee. "I support those trying to codify the school's laws to stop illegal behavior."
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The committee delayed its decision.
Ramirez remains a student in good standing at Fresno State, which he is allowed to attend at the in-state tuition rate under AB 540.
Here's a video report from the Collegian, the school paper, in which Donnelly gets heckled for his trouble: