| |

It’s time for more than lip service

You hear it said all the time. “Politicians should be held to a higher standard.” Yet, when is that statement anything more than wishes of a nonexistent reality? Today, Republicans in the Erie County Legislature unveiled a proposal for a law that would require any legislator to resign if convicted of a crime.

Of course, some may say that this is too harsh; that we should limit it felonies and certain types of misdemeanors. Initially, I thought the same thing. Should a bar fight or a DWI be grounds to boot someone out of their elected position? Maybe that’s too extreme of a penalty.

The longer I thought about it, though, the more I thought that the law really should cover all crimes, including misdemeanors of all varieties. We elect these people to represent all of us. By not passing this law, we’re saying that representatives with criminal records are “good enough”. I’m sick of that attitude. There are plenty of people that manage to go through life without getting convicted of a crime. Since there aren’t any other real requirements to get elected to a governmental position, I don’t think this one is too much to ask. If a lawmaker breaks a law, they lose their job. It’s that simple.

Our resident county lawmakebreaker, George Holt now apparently only speaks to the public via his lawyer:

“I think it’s really to slap George in the face,” he said, adding later, “Erie County has plenty of more important things to worry about.”

No, I don’t think we do. If we had elected officials that could follow the laws they set, this area might be in a little better shape. Perhaps George should step back and consider that his actions are a slap in the face of every person in this county.

It’s time for us to be able to look up to our leaders instead of making excuses for them. The perception that politicians are given preferential treatment needs to end. It’s time that we actually do hold them to a higher standard.

Similar Posts


  1. The only problem with this approach, Derek, is that as we add more and more laws, we will all be guilty of some infraction or another. As a (perhaps absurd) example, suppose instead of tax evasion, Mattie’s had been using (gasp!!!!) Trans Fatty Acids for their fish frys despite Demone Smith’s ill conceived ( and barely literate) law banning same. Is that really a reason to toss a perfectly good legislator (forget that it’s Holt-suppose Loclear had a restaraunt…)

    Of course, on the other hand this may make them less likely to pass stupid laws that will only get ignored anyway…

  2. Scotty, you made an excellent point. If the legislators have something to lose by creating stupid laws, they may be less likely to do so. However, don’t forget that a lot of them (like this proposed trans-fat law) are just regulations that result in only fines, not criminal charges. As long as there’s a buck to be made, I’m sure we’ll still see plenty more nanny laws.

  3. To an extent I can agree but when tax evasion becomes a misdemeanor we have to look at that as a serious flaw.

    Scotty makes a good point, yes we have actually to many Laws but when they pass a law that they are held accountable for that should make them think twice about passing it.

    I always thought a felony was over $1000, Holt’s tax evasion in 20+.
    He should have been charged with a felony, notice how they made the deal not to be one.

Leave a Reply