Incident exposes hypocrisy of Edwards, Democrats
While Democrat state Sen. Troy Brown faces no ethical responsibility to resign his position, his self-inflicted problems expose the hypocrites comprising his political party.
Recently, authorities arrested Brown on a complaint of striking a woman, apparently after a sustained period of partying. Turns out he has carried on an affair with the alleged victim for a decade, according to her. Meanwhile, he appears to spend more of his time at an address outside of the district at the residence where his wife registered to vote, and gave that address to arresting authorities. He also gets his mail there and more often than not in filling out disclosure forms uses that address.
None of this automatically should compel his resignation. A court has yet to find him guilty of any charge, much less a felony that would force him out of the Legislature as dictated by the Constitution. And while someone has filed suit trying to remove him from office for failure to reside in the district he represents, the procedure by law to do this remains not yet invoked.
Legal and constitutional matters aside, neither does there exist a moral case for him to go voluntarily. Even if charged with a crime, no court has found him guilty of it. His reputed actions, whether violent to a person or a marriage, have not seemed to have affected his job performance. Nor has he made any commitment to constituents that he appears to have broken.
Contrast this with Republican former Rep. Vance McAllister, caught on record engaging in sexual activity with a married woman not his wife. Starting out in similar circumstances with Brown that also did not make for a moral case for his resignation, their paths diverged when he said he would resign, then did not. That breach of trust with constituents led them correctly to decide not to reelect him.
In the case of Republican Sen. David Vitter, he confessed several years after the fact that he had committed a “serious sin” believed to relate to prostitution services. With actions heavily scrutinized during his run for governor earlier this fall, years after the admission, no evidence ever surfaced that his alleged activities ever interfered with his job performance nor that he had engaged after his revelation in such activities, and he never got charged with any crime related to the matter.
Yet Democrats (and some Republicans), who declared Vitter unfit for office, including eventual race winner Democrat state Rep. John Bel Edwards, have said nothing about Brown resigning, even though by objective measures – not facing a criminal charge – Vitter did less to deserve opprobrium. This again signals how Democrats and other opponents of Vitter became conveniently and selectively outraged simply because they did not like Vitter and/or as a political and partisan tool to prevent his election, if not secure the office for their party. If they weren’t hypocrites, on the same basis that they said voters should deny Vitter the governorship, they would clamor for Brown voluntarily to vacate his office.
In the case of senators of this ilk, they should do more if serious. The Constitution permits expulsion of a member of a chamber by a two-thirds voted of its seated membership, for any reason. Any senator who said Vitter’s character meant he could not serve as governor displays hypocrisy by failing to initiate and/or support a move for Brown’s expulsion. After all, what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
Regardless of the absence at this time of an ethical case to remove Brown, don’t hold your breath that Democrats will want to remove one of their own. Despite their insisting that the court of public opinion should judge Vitter, they seem entirely unwilling to apply that same, if inappropriate, standard to Brown. Most sanctimoniously Edwards, who made claims of piety during the campaign, stays silent about this incident, confirming his innate dishonesty that conditions his adherence to his alma mater’s Honor Code on the basis of whether it politically profits him or his party.
Posted by Jeff Sadow at 11:40