Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Things Politicians Say...And Do

So, a lot of people have given me feedback about Andy Harris's now infamous comments about not having healthcare coverage for his first 28 days as a congressman. Others asked me if I planned to write about it.

Other than "Wow," I really can't think of anything else to say that hasn't been pointed out by other bloggers already. Me piling on would seem gratuitious. So all I will say is that he, and whoever his press secretary is or will be, learned a valuable lesson as to how the D. C. press corps operates.

And he thought the State House press corps was bad.

However, I was amused by this item from the Baltimore Sun's political blog about the final Baltimore County Council meeting for five of its outgoing members. Specifically, I liked this quote from Democratic Councilman S. G. Samuel Moxley.

"Moxley included Council Secretary Thomas J. Peddicord, Jr. in his thank yous. 'The guidance that you provide, I believe, keeps at least this one councilman out of so much trouble,' Moxley said."

Ummmm...ironic much, Mr. Moxley?

I don't doubt that Mr. Peddicord is good at his job and kept meetings running efficiently for all the council members. But his professionalism just wasn't enough to keep Moxley out of trouble.

For that to have happened, the keeper of the county's motor pool would have had to confiscate his keys.

Councilman Moxley had two very well-publicized drunk driving incidents during his tenure - one in 2005 and one in 2009. In the first one, he hit a car parked on the side of the highway, narrowly missing its driver who was changing a tire. In the 2009 incident, he caused a multi-car accident that sent someone to the hospital. At least one of those incidents occured when Moxley was driving a county-owned vehicle.

Given the seriousness of these incidents, it seems to me that someone who has lived in the public eye for 16 years would have chosen his words a little more carefully.

Hopefully Mr. Moxley has conquered his demons and put the past behind him. He seemed remorseful after both incidents occured, and he deserves the right to move on with his life - assuming he has adjusted his behavior.

But, looking back on it, the thought of an inebriated local official wantonly cruising the local highways in a county-owned "Chevy Trailblazer of Doom" is still a little unsettling.

Early on, Moxley had expressed an interest in running for Baltimore County Clerk of the Court. His decision to forgo that race reflects tacit acceptance of the consequences of his actions. Hopefully the five ambitious new members of the Council who take office next month will regard Moxley's story as a cautionary tale as they begin their own service.

Calling yourself "The Honorable" does not shelter you from reaping the consequences of your mistakes. Just ask Sam Moxley. Or, better yet, ask Jack Johnson.

1 comment:

  1. Moxley sounds like proof enough that we're too lax on drunk driving in this country. You should never get the chance to have a second accident, and you should definitely not get the chance to run for public office after such behaviour.

    It's really not that hard to avoid being a scumbag. Makes me wonder, are scumbags naturally attracted to politics, or do politicians turn into scumbags?

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