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8.5.05

Small step for Wooley; giant leap for Louisiana

At least he did the right thing, only after about two months of unfavorable media coverage, and he doubled the fun. Insurance Commissioner Robert “Pimp(le) My Ride” Wooley gave back to the state the luxury truck he had requisitioned and his year-old luxury truck he also had gotten the taxpayers to buy him. The latter re-gift was interesting in that he could far better justify having that one, so we may conclude Wooley felt he needed to make a large penance for his arrogance.

Perhaps that’s because another high-profile incident occurred not long after his purchase was revealed, where it appeared that Wooley had managed to promote his brother in violation of anti-nepotism laws but again had to back off when word leaked out and the media came calling (thanks in part to the work of one of my former students – take a bow, Michelle). That now has been rescinded and any expanded job description for Rick Wooley has been labeled “temporary.”

It’s an arrogant attitude from this office the state has all too often had to continue to endure, considering the last three commissioners have gone to jail. Wooley’s mentor Jim Brown displays this haughtiness in spades by his continued insistence that, despite numerous trials all establishing reaffirming the decision that sent him to jail, that it was all some big conspiracy and that judges, prosecutors, the federal government etc. all are to blame for his going to prison, not Brown himself. Wooley seems to have learned well from Brown, and maybe even will top him in time if not in jail time (we hope not), certainly in arrogance.

But I’ll bet sometime in the next few days, maybe Brown, maybe somebody else, but somebody somewhere will rise to Wooley’s defense, saying the whole tempest was a pimple, that who cares as long as Wooley does his job, that those attacking this action are narrow-mindedly focused on small stuff and need to look at the larger picture, etc. In short, that someone doing “great” things can be excused when he does things to abuse the public’s trust.

That attitude, of course, directs one to acceptance of tyranny. We want people of character in public office because, ultimately, the only thing that allows a free society to continue to be free is self-restraint by both politicians and the people. If people decided to rise up in mass, government could do nothing to stop such a revolution. The same thing goes with our leaders even in our system of fragmented government. It may be designed to minimize the chances of tyrannical actions succeeding, but if all members of government decide to behave as such, it cannot stop them from doing it.

This is why we need to demand high character out of our elected officials, so they do not try to abuse the people. Wooley has taken a small step to redeem his in our eyes, but it will take more for him to fully earn back our trust.

2 comments:

robert sobieraj said...

:)

Anonymous said...

There must be some like maturity level between Wooley and the black young wanting a place to parade in their cars here in Shreveport. They both seem to want to be noticed. I would say they both got their wish. It has nothing to do with job performance. In Wooley's case who grades his report card on good insurance coverage at competitive rates?

Jimmy