OP-ED: “Policy Pimping” – Hold Legislators Accountable


By D. Demond King

Shouldn’t there be a requirement for legislators to adhere to the laws they make? Is it unreasonable to expect that elected officials be accountable for making good on the promises they make during their campaigns?

A recent Washington scandal involving a member of the house calls into question the issues of integrity and ethics among our lawmakers.

The recent arrest of Republican Florida State Representative Trey Radel on cocaine possession charges has three top Florida Republican leaders Lenny Curry, Terry Miller, and Mike Lyster calling for his resignation, according to a recent report in Politico magazine.

The GOP chairmen said in identical statements that if Radel ran again in 2014, he “would not enjoy [their] support.”

Radel, who represents Florida’s 19th Congressional District and voted in September for legislation that allow states to drug test food stamp recipients, was implicated in an October drug sting operation in the nation’s capital.

The 37-year-old conservative pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor drug possession charge in a D.C. Superior Court in November. He was sentenced to one year of probation with the condition that he will undergo substance abuse treatment.

While many state legislatures have considered bills similar to the controversial measures for which Radel voted in favor, the question of the fairness of such measures has been hotly contested and understandably so.

Radel is a self-proclaimed advocate for less government.

His website (http://www.treyradel.com/) quotes him saying, “I have fought for and will continue to fight for lower taxes, less government and more freedom.”

Couldn’t the argument be made that he has voted in favor of more intrusive government in at least one instance? Is it time to draw the line in relation to the promises our elected officials make and the behaviors they exhibit post-election?

D. Demond King is president of the Redemption Center. For more information about TRC, visit www.redeemedworld.org


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