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July 28, 2009

Paul Stanley to Resign; Any Others?

In a letter to Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey, Sen. Paul Stanley of District 31 today announced his intent to resign effective August 10. Stanley had come under increasing pressure from party officials to step down after news of his affair with a legislative intern became public.

This story has had its share of disgraceful disclosures, and it helps no one for this blog to attempt an exhaustive recap of all the gory details, never mind all of the reactions. But a pair of comments left at Post Politics speaks to a troubling scenario in Nashville:

TennRod writes July 28th, 2009 11:57 am Does anyone believe that Stanley's behavior is uncommon in the General Assembly? I don't. In fact, I think what is coming to light about this guy is just routine for quite a number of those second-raters in our state legislature.
autoegocrat writes July 28th, 2009 6:39 pm It's amazing what a huge bank of dirt there is on this guy. If this is just what we're hearing about Paul Stanley, there must be a mountain of it stashed away on just about everyone.

Paul Stanley has done the right thing by resigning, and hopefully he and his family will be able to reconcile and restore their relationships. But what about others?

Yes, I recognize that Stanley's hypocrisy is what somewhat sets him apart. It would be different if someone ran for office openly disclosing a penchant for partying. "Elect me. I'll get drunk and get loud. I'll kiss the girls and make them cry; but I'll keep your taxes low and your roads paved." You get the idea. (They still shouldn't sleep with employees, though, no matter what.)

I start out willing to give most of our legislators the benefit of the doubt, and assume that they're neither philandering nor peddling influence...but then along come Operation Tennessee Waltz, Jerry Cooper, Jeff Miller, Rob Briley, and now Paul Stanley, to name a few; and I have to wonder. The scene in Washington, D.C. renders the picture even more grim. I'm not trying to be a prude; again, if you want to throw down, just be straight with me first. But if your daily regimen includes a tremendous amount of deception about your personal life, then I likely can't bring myself to trust you in matters of policy, or even take your swearing-in seriously.

I'm going to hope that Sen. Stanley's saga is the last of this sort of thing that we'll hear for a while. But as I don't necessarily believe he was a "bad apple" going into his first term in office, I won't hold my breath, either. There is, apparently, a pervasive culture of entitled wantonness in our state and national capitols. It distracts our representatives from performing their solemn duties. It hurts innocent people. And it needs to be addressed by an informed public.

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Political News , State Senate Elections | By joe lance | 10:35 PM


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