Florida GOP demands Radel’s resignation

posted at 4:31 pm on November 26, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Looks like an apology and a guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of possession didn’t do the trick for Congressman Trey Radel. Three officials from the Florida Republican Party demanded Radel’s resignation rather than just a leave of absence after getting caught with more than three grams of cocaine:

Three top Florida Republican leaders — including the state party chairman — say Rep. Trey Radel should resign, less than one week after he plead guilty to possession of cocaine.

State party chair Lenny Curry, Lee County GOP chair Terry Miller and Mike Lyster, the chairman of the Collier County Republicans issued statements late Monday, saying the Florida Republican should step down.

Miller and Lyster’s statement was identical — they also said if he runs for reelection in 2014, Radel “would not enjoy our support.

“While the decision to complete the current term is his alone to make, we strongly encourage him to reflect on his ability to remain effective and that a return to Congress may serve only as an impediment to his recovery,” the pair said in separate statements. “We feel it is in the best interests of all involved that he resign immediately. We hope that he can focus solely on his rehabilitation and allow the citizens to begin their own healing process. We thank Trey for his service and wish only the best for him and his family.”

It’s not just a coincidence that FL-19 happens to be a safely Republican district, with a Cook Index of R+11. This used to be Robert Wexler’s seat and a Democratic stronghold until redistricting after the 2010 census changed the balance.   A resignation would touch off a special election, which the GOP would probably have little difficulty winning, especially in the post-ObamaCare rollout environment.

Had this arrest occurred after the shutdown and without the ObamaCare meltdown, would the state GOP be as anxious to unload Radel? Possibly not, although the Republicans face a tough effort to keep the governor’s office in their column in the midterms next year.  They don’t need a cloud of scandal distracting from that effort, especially with Charlie Crist readying a run for his old job from the other side of the aisle.  (Just remember, if Crist had stuck with that job rather than run for the Senate, he’d still be a Republican governor now and a shoe-in for a third term.)  Even if Radel pledged not to run for his seat in 2014, the scandal would be a little too close for comfort in a competitive election cycle.  Hence, the Republican Party wants to lance the boil now rather than let it fester.  Call it electoral hygiene.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

This should be a non-story. Most people arrested for drugs lose their jobs as a result of it. This shouldn’t be any different. End of story.

HomeoftheBrave on November 26, 2013 at 4:34 PM

Toronto is way more entertaining than FL.

NO, I don’t promote or take drugs. It’s just fun to observe the left and the right.

Schadenfreude on November 26, 2013 at 4:35 PM

He should just switch parties.
Arrest and conviction for cocaine is a resume enhancer for Dems.

dentarthurdent on November 26, 2013 at 4:35 PM

Now if he was a Democrat he’d receive a meritorious service award.

rplat on November 26, 2013 at 4:36 PM

NO WAY!!

Sty in office just like a democrat would. Also the democrats would be circling the wagons and accusing the repukes of being something evil.

Stay Radel, STAY!

jukin3 on November 26, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Wexler’s seat is in Boca Raton on the east coast of Florida.

This is Connie Mack’s old seat on the other side of the state.

MitchFlorida on November 26, 2013 at 4:41 PM

I forgive him. But he should resign.

BigGator5 on November 26, 2013 at 4:42 PM

DOUBLE DOWN!!!!!

TRIPLE DOWN!!!!!

QUADRUPLE DOWN!!!!

williamg on November 26, 2013 at 4:43 PM

And no, we don’t want to hear his rendition of “Let it Snow”.

Ward Cleaver on November 26, 2013 at 4:44 PM

I thought everybody in Florida was in possession of cocaine. But bad judgement on his part…he should have fooled around with an intern and everything would be just fine.

teejk on November 26, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Meh. He should go.

22044 on November 26, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Looking forward to the righteous indignation over Radel’s sins from the party of our cokehead Preezy…

KS Rex on November 26, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Maybe he should talk to Menendez and find out how he managed to keep his seat.

Hill60 on November 26, 2013 at 4:49 PM

One correction – Florida has term limits so Crist would not be able to run for a third term.

Publius24 on November 26, 2013 at 4:50 PM

Perfect timing.

GOPRanknFile on November 26, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Out the door with him. The Dems have no standards. Republicans do, and should. Out!

iurockhead on November 26, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Boot his azz out now.

DaMav on November 26, 2013 at 5:01 PM

I forgive him. But he should resign.

BigGator5 on November 26, 2013 at 4:42 PM

He should fax his resignation to oregon’s obambicare offices.

VegasRick on November 26, 2013 at 5:06 PM

Florida GOP demands Radel’s resignation

No one should have to demand his resignation. He should offer it with out being prodded.

Three officials from the Florida Republican Party demanded Radel’s resignation rather than just a leave of absence after getting caught with more than three grams of cocaine:

He must’ve wanted three grams of cocaine to fill the void left by lacking a single milligram of ethics.

rukiddingme on November 26, 2013 at 5:07 PM

OT – Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, is a ghoul.

22044 on November 26, 2013 at 5:07 PM

I wonder if a substance abuse diversion program is available through his Congressional version of Obamacare…

Oh, wait…

Khun Joe on November 26, 2013 at 5:07 PM

One correction – Florida has term limits so Crist would not be able to run for a third term.

Publius24 on November 26, 2013 at 4:50 PM

Those are for consecutive terms. Crist is eligible to run again.

cajunpatriot on November 26, 2013 at 5:08 PM

This should be a non-story. Most people arrested for drugs lose their jobs as a result of it. This shouldn’t be any different. End of story.

HomeoftheBrave on November 26, 2013 at 4:34 PM

Being a GOP rep from Florida he should have his young and perfectly healthy intern found dead in his office and then go on to have a career in TV.

but seriously he should resign.

Kirkian on November 26, 2013 at 5:08 PM

Hypocrite. If you want to do drugs so badly, then at least fight for the other adults to do so without penalty.

Dr. ZhivBlago on November 26, 2013 at 5:12 PM

Wexler’s seat is in Boca Raton on the east coast of Florida.

This is Connie Mack’s old seat on the other side of the state.

MitchFlorida on November 26, 2013 at 4:41 PM

+ sigh….come on HA.

Thank you!

bazil9 on November 26, 2013 at 5:15 PM

How about all the Kennedy’s? He should stay and “rehabilitate”
himself like they all did…

sandee on November 26, 2013 at 5:18 PM

Those are for consecutive terms. Crist is eligible to run again.

cajunpatriot on November 26, 2013 at 5:08 PM

That’s true, but what Ed said was:
“Just remember, if Crist had stuck with that job rather than run for the Senate, he’d still be a Republican governor now and a shoe-in for a third term.)”

This assumes that he would be running for a third consecutive term, so Publius’ correction was appropriate.

GOPRanknFile on November 26, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Obama: “Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it”

Radel could be President one day.

faraway on November 26, 2013 at 5:23 PM

He must be a dummy. If he was smart, he would have had some one else purchase his drugs. He should resign.

birdwatcher on November 26, 2013 at 5:25 PM

Just remember, if Crist had stuck with that job rather than run for the Senate, he’d still be a Republican governor now …

What makes you think Crist would have stayed a Republican?

J.S.K. on November 26, 2013 at 5:28 PM

The party should have no expectation that he heed their demands.

Radel should either resign because he feels it necessary or stay in office and have the voters decide his fate next time out.

It is not the party’s decision.

Not at all.

Warner Todd Huston on November 26, 2013 at 5:50 PM

This definitely would not have happened (the request for his resignation by the Elders of his Party) if he were only a Democrap.

Another Drew on November 26, 2013 at 5:50 PM

Hence, the Republican Party wants to lance the boil now rather than let it fester.

This guy can get clean in rehab, yet, you cheered boils like Charlie Crist and his Obama buttlove.

AllahsNippleHair on November 26, 2013 at 5:53 PM

I just couldn’t trust anyone who looks that much like Al Franken.

Buddahpundit on November 26, 2013 at 5:54 PM

I think we should avoid the trap seeming too judgmental. It’s not good for the Republican brand.

thuja on November 26, 2013 at 5:55 PM

Hypocrite. If you want to do drugs so badly, then at least fight for the other adults to do so without penalty.

Dr. ZhivBlago on November 26, 2013 at 5:12 PM

Radel is on record for opposing the costly and ineffective war on drugs and has worked to end mandatory sentencing.

Jens on November 26, 2013 at 5:58 PM

We have a president who admits using cocaine in his past. No one suggested he should be, either, ineligible for office, or removed from office.

So is removing this congressman from office because he used cocaine? OR simply because he got caught?

The law applies to everyone.

thatsafactjack on November 26, 2013 at 6:03 PM

I don’t think he should resign, because if he did, I couldn’t say “Paul Ryan endorsed this cocaine addicted liar for Congress” all next year.

Dusty on November 26, 2013 at 6:03 PM

How about all the Kennedy’s? He should stay and “rehabilitate”
himself like they all did…

sandee on November 26, 2013 at 5:18 PM

lolz..Good point..There are Democrat “standards” and then there are “Kennedy standards”..:)

Dire Straits on November 26, 2013 at 6:05 PM

So is removing this congressman from office because he used cocaine? OR simply because he got caught?

The law applies to everyone.

thatsafactjack on November 26, 2013 at 6:03 PM

Good point..As someone pointed out above..It is not the state GOP party’s call..It is his call and the voters call..:)

PS..H/T to Warner Todd Huston..:)

Dire Straits on November 26, 2013 at 6:08 PM

Why not just leave it up to the voters in his district?

myiq2xu on November 26, 2013 at 6:10 PM

FYI: 3.5 grams is commonly known as an 8-ball. It is an amount that is often purchased for personal use.

myiq2xu on November 26, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Why not just leave it up to the voters in his district?

myiq2xu on November 26, 2013 at 6:10 PM

I’m consistent on this issue. I thought Patrick Kennedy and Jesse Jackson Jr. should have both resigned too. Addiction problems ARE a factor that should disqualify you from public office. These people have access to classified information and make critical decisions I don’t want some druggie or alcoholic to be the one that makes those decisions. And BTW it is more than likely that those around these people were aware of the problem if not outright enablers.

I hope that Radel finds help and healing in rehab. I just don’t think he is fit to stay in Congress. And how exactly do you run for office in 2014 after something like this?

Happy Nomad on November 26, 2013 at 6:21 PM

Has he apologized and done rehab yet?

Could he take a leave like others have while in Congress?

PappyD61 on November 26, 2013 at 6:24 PM

I knew, before this was over, this guy would wish he were a Democrat. If he were a Democrat, this would be a resume enhancement. I’m not sure where this goes, all I know is Democrats are more concerned about seats than propriety.

bflat879 on November 26, 2013 at 6:38 PM

Convince him to change parties.

The story will vanish.

Bruno Strozek on November 26, 2013 at 6:41 PM

If he were an employee he’d be fired.

He has to face the same consequences for his actions as any other person would despite his status or job…or his chances of achieving and maintaining sobriety are nil.

Hope he’s able to get sober in rehab and rebuild his life. He’s not the first addict that’s had to do that and he won’t be the last.

workingclass artist on November 26, 2013 at 6:41 PM

FYI: 3.5 grams is commonly known as an 8-ball. It is an amount that is often purchased for personal use.

[myiq2xu on November 26, 2013 at 6:14 PM]

I had to convert the three grams to recognize what amount we’re talking about. Now it’s clear: 3.5 grams is almost exactly one level teaspoon; 0.123 ounces versus 0.125 ounces in a level teaspoon, ignoring substance density and granularity.

Dusty on November 26, 2013 at 7:38 PM

Why will the GOP not EVER be the party in power? Just read the comments on this page and understand…if you’re not perfect, you’re not worthy.

Right-wing bloggers over the past two cycles have destroyed the GOP’s chances of nominating a conservative by requiring any potential nominee to be perfect. What’s that gotten us> McCain and Romny. Good luck trying to woo the perfect candidates, people. You’re condemning the US to a future dominated by the choices of Democrats.

Al-Ozarka on November 26, 2013 at 8:13 PM

Addiction problems ARE a factor that should disqualify you from public office. These people have access to classified information and make critical decisions I don’t want some druggie or alcoholic to be the one that makes those decisions.

Happy Nomad on November 26, 2013 at 6:21 PM

Not to mention the chances of the need for money to feed their habit making them likely candidates to be subored by foreign agents. Sounds like a bad Sixties spy movie, I know, but the reason it became a movie cliche’ was the frequency with which it happens in real life.

There’s a reason that intel officers use the acronym MICE to remember the four basic methods or reasons people can be “persuaded’ to turn their coats. It stands for Money, Ideology, Compromise, Ego.

A typical traitor will be vulnerable to at least two, and often all four. A drug habit is a great “in” to use Money and Compromise, for obvious reasons. And show me a politician who doesn’t have an Ideology, which often comes with a colossal Ego.

Or, let’s put it at the personal level. Before my retirement, I was a police crime lab ballistics technician. That meant I was qualified to go on the witness stand with evidence I developed, and state that (for instance) Glock pistol caliber 9x19mm S/N 2XXXXX fired the bullet recovered from the body of Mr. Y. Said pistol being the property of Mr. X.

Which means that in some cases, whether or not somebody went up for murder rode on my testimony.

Now, say you ended up on the wrong end of a home invasion, and you had to shoot. Whether or not you were bound over for at least manslaughter could all too easily be decided by my ballistic evidence, as to who shot first, which gun was used to shoot who, etc.

Would you want me on the job, in the lab, drunk?

Hung over?

High on LSD?

With a noseful of coke?

Toking?

On uppers, or downers?

Or jonesing for my next armful of H?

No, I didn’t think so.

BTW, this is another big reason that the strongest thing I use is decaf coffee. With non-dairy fat-free creamer, no sugar.

clear ether

eon

eon on November 26, 2013 at 9:38 PM

You know, a political party that actually represented its members in their morals and ethics would just yank this guy’s party credentials if he didn’t step down, first.

Really, this is something that State Parties can do that the National finds it hard to do… and yet the most responsive part of the system should be at its lowest levels. A time to do the right thing needs limitations from a party towards its elected members inside and outside the party to any office or position of power. If you support personal morality and ethics and those you vote for do not keep up with them, then why support them any further? The D’s have sold their souls wholesale to the collective. The R’s appear to be the retail side of the business and will continue to be until they can state just what it is they expect out of their members elected to any position at all.

ajacksonian on November 27, 2013 at 8:51 AM

“shoe-in”
There’s a pun in there somewhere.

RushBaby on November 27, 2013 at 10:07 AM

those asking for him to resign are the progressive republican elitists who back jeb. the same people hope to oust amash in mi. and cruz and lee. the playbook must change to mirror the progressives playbook, apologize, get clean and make the most of your american 2nd chance. we must elect more constitutionalists and back them just like the democrat party does rangel the tax cheat and harkin the vietnam liar and obama the homosexual communist. we and providence will win in the end.

tm11999 on November 27, 2013 at 11:21 AM