Beware the strong opinion

18 Mar

Assemblyman-Steve-Katz-sizedPeople who take the strongest stand against something – frequently are practitioners of that something.

The person that hates liars, generally lie themselves.

People who hate booze can sometimes be a closet alcoholic.

Some who make speeches about how dangerous gays are, sometimes get caught in a same-sex relationship.

There’s nothing wrong with having your own opinion, whether we agree or not.

But when you are a politician, and hold up your personal values as something others should follow, you are on a slippery path.

People and the press will catch you when you are not practicing those values.

All too common for those elected to office.

How about this…

New York Assemblyman Steve Katz hates illegal drugs and voted against the legalization of medical marijuana.

In a mailing to constituents, the Yorktown Republican, who serves on the Assembly Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee, warned: “Our community has been stricken with an increase in drug use and drunk driving by our youngest citizens.”

Last week, Katz was got stopped by police near Albany, accused of speeding and marijuana possession.

He was pulled over for driving 80 mph in a 65 mph zone according to the ticket he received.

The trooper reported he could smell marijuana when he approached Katz’s car.

The trooper’s report says Katz turned over a small bag of what appeared to be marijuana.

Katz wasn’t arrested but charged with unlawful possession of marijuana and speeding and was issued an appearance ticket for court next week.

The only thing Katz is publicly saying is – the incident was “unfortunate” and “First, I will not let this incident impede my public service and my calls for real mandate relief, a better economic climate and better services for those in need in New York. This should not overshadow the work I have done over the years for the public and my constituency. I am confident that once the facts are presented that this will quickly be put to rest.”

Nothing about lying, speeding or being an apparent pothead.

A look through the man’s public records shows his Bronx veterinarian business settled a sexual-harassment complaint by a former female employee in 2006 for about $105,000.

Whether his voters care comes down to whether they expect more from their elected officials than they got from him.

We are a forgiving bunch of people.

Or we lose all common sense when we step into the voting booth.

Pick one.

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