Breaking: Radel to resign today

posted at 8:34 am on January 27, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Politico reported a few minutes ago that Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL) would resign his seat effective today:

Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.) will resign from Congress on Monday, according to multiple sources.

The New York Daily News offered a bit more background:

The first term Congressman pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of possession of cocaine in November and was sentenced to one year of supervised probation.

He took a leave of absence from Congress and entered rehab in Florida but returned to Congress in January, after the holiday recess.

Most Republicans wanted him gone after the arrest. Instead, Radel insisted that he would hold his seat after going through rehab. Unless I missed a memo, there hasn’t been any unusual events surrounding his return this month. Perhaps Radel found his welcome back to the caucus chillier than Polar Vortex I or II.

Radel will reportedly offer his resignation in a letter to John Boehner today, who presumably will be delighted to accept it. That will set up a special election in Florida’s 19th CD, which has a Cook rating of R+11. Without Radel as baggage, presumably the GOP can hold this seat in both the special election and especially in the regular election in November, assuming Florida chooses to fill the rest of Radel’s term at all. The resignation won’t impact the balance of power in the House, but it does provide a clean sweep from Radel’s personal scandal for the GOP.

Update: The Washington Post confirms:

But on Monday, Radel’s chief of staff Dave Natonski confirmed to Post Politics that Radel plans to submit a letter explaining his decision to resign. Politico first reported the news.

Radel comes from a heavily conservative district where Mitt Romney won more than six out of 10 votes in 2012. His exit is expected to trigger a competitive GOP primary contest. A former TV news reporter, Radel won 30 percent of the primary vote in a crowded 2012 field.

Former state Rep. Paige Kreegel (R), who won about 18 percent of the vote in the 2012 primary, already filed papers to run. Other possibilities include state Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto (R) and former congressman Connie Mack (R).

I’m still not sure what changed Radel’s mind. His return was about as uneventful as he might have hoped. Unless more revelations are on their way, he had a pretty smooth glide path to obscurity in 2014 already.


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Good. No reason for a deluded cokehead(in this case Radel, not Obama) to cost the GOP a House seat.

Doughboy on January 27, 2014 at 8:37 AM

So I guess this leaves more for Obama, huh?

“maybe a little blow when you could afford it” –Obimbo

SoRight on January 27, 2014 at 8:38 AM

He should’ve switched to Democrat and stayed on.

pain train on January 27, 2014 at 8:38 AM

A wee bits over-due!!

canopfor on January 27, 2014 at 8:38 AM

High Crimes and misdemeanors a death knell for Repunks a resume enhancer for the Lyin Rats!

ConcealedKerry on January 27, 2014 at 8:38 AM

good.
he should be in jail.

dmacleo on January 27, 2014 at 8:39 AM

At first, I thought the post title said Priebus was retiring.

I wish it were true.

BuckeyeSam on January 27, 2014 at 8:39 AM

What kind of a country are we living in where a Congressman is punished for getting caught in posssession of coke? It didn’t stop Patrick Kennedy who has been an addict for years!

Happy Nomad on January 27, 2014 at 8:39 AM

Next Mayor of Toronto?

philw1776 on January 27, 2014 at 8:39 AM

he should be in jail.

dmacleo on January 27, 2014 at 8:39 AM

Hey he spent a month or so in rehab so he’s cured now! /

Seriously, I don’t get the timing. Why now?

Happy Nomad on January 27, 2014 at 8:41 AM

Criminal Republicans resign; criminal democrats get promoted. Yet Republicans bad, democrats good. The media is the enemy.

Rational Thought on January 27, 2014 at 8:48 AM

Patrick Kennedy gets a pass because…Kennedy…

workingclass artist on January 27, 2014 at 8:53 AM

Criminal Republicans resign; criminal democrats get promoted. Yet Republicans bad, democrats good. The media is the enemy.

Rational Thought on January 27, 2014 at 8:48 AM

That’s because unlike Dem voters, the Republican base actually has standards.

Doughboy on January 27, 2014 at 8:54 AM

Hey he spent a month or so in rehab so he’s cured now! /

Seriously, I don’t get the timing. Why now?

Happy Nomad on January 27, 2014 at 8:41 AM

caught again?
or very worried about more info about prior usage.

dmacleo on January 27, 2014 at 8:57 AM

Patrick Kennedy gets a pass because…Kennedy…

workingclass artist on January 27, 2014 at 8:53 AM

Yeah, Patrick Kennedy drives a car into the Capitol and the Dems rally around and lecture us on not punishing people for their addictions. Trey Radel gets caught with a misdemeanor amount of coke and they are aghast that he would be back in Congress.

Hypocrisy on parade.

Happy Nomad on January 27, 2014 at 8:57 AM

Criminal Republicans resign; criminal democrats get promoted. Yet Republicans bad, democrats good. The media is the enemy.

Rational Thought on January 27, 2014 at 8:48 AM

“The fourth rule is: Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.”

Fallon on January 27, 2014 at 8:58 AM

Unreal. Will he be arrested?

OmahaConservative on January 27, 2014 at 8:59 AM

caught again?
or very worried about more info about prior usage.

dmacleo on January 27, 2014 at 8:57 AM

Or maybe a spouse who insisted. Nevertheless, the timing is odd but at least there won’t be any question about who to support for the 2014 elections.

Happy Nomad on January 27, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Next Mayor of Toronto?

philw1776 on January 27, 2014 at 8:39 AM

philw1776:Lol,…dats a good one:)

canopfor on January 27, 2014 at 9:01 AM

The Associated Press ‏@AP 1m

BREAKING: Spokesman says U.S. Rep. Trey Radel of Fla. will resign after pleading guilty to cocaine possession.

canopfor on January 27, 2014 at 9:06 AM

As it should be.

Bmore on January 27, 2014 at 9:11 AM

Meanwhile, McCain gets censured by the AZ GOP and gets this defender of his record…….

Fred DuVal, a Democrat who plans to run for Arizona governor, called the censure an “outrageous response to the good work Sen. McCain did crafting a reasonable solution to fix our broken immigration system.”

Somehow I don’t think that was helpful for the guy chosen by Harry Reid to attack Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate.

Happy Nomad on January 27, 2014 at 9:16 AM

He should have done a few lines with the President before going away, you know….bragging rights

/

Alinsky on January 27, 2014 at 9:17 AM

Good. People in possession of illegal drugs are necessarily unqualified to hold office as Republicans. Their choices are limited to Libertarian or Democrat.

Jaibones on January 27, 2014 at 9:17 AM

Any trolls want to come and defend a drug abuser’s right to stay in Congress?

Bitter Clinger on January 27, 2014 at 9:21 AM

He should have done a few lines with the President before going away, you know….bragging rights

/

Alinsky on January 27, 2014 at 9:17 AM

Cocaine summit!

Galtian on January 27, 2014 at 9:24 AM

Any trolls want to come and defend a drug abuser’s right to stay in Congress?

Bitter Clinger on January 27, 2014 at 9:21 AM

If abusing drugs was a disqualifier for sitting in Congress- not a single Kennedy would ever have been eligible. Not a single one of those inbred mouth-breathing parasites.

Happy Nomad on January 27, 2014 at 9:32 AM

Probably showed him his NSA file.

Mimzey on January 27, 2014 at 9:35 AM

3.5 Grams:
==========

The Associated Press ‏@AP 1m

MORE: U.S. Rep. Trey Radel had admitted to purchasing 3.5 grams of cocaine from an undercover police officer: http://apne.ws/1jWNtGs
=========================================================

Fla. congressman to resign after cocaine scandal
By MICHAEL J. MISHAK
— Jan. 27, 2014 9:27 AM EST
*****************************

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/fla-congressman-resign-after-cocaine-scandal

canopfor on January 27, 2014 at 9:35 AM

Good riddance to bad rubbish!

They’ll need to double vacuum his office to make sure that all the cocaine is gone.

BigGator5 on January 27, 2014 at 9:42 AM

Former state Rep. Paige Kreegel (R), who won about 18 percent of the vote in the 2012 primary, already filed papers to run. Other possibilities include state Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto (R) and former congressman Connie Mack (R).

I don’t know the other two, but Connie Mack needs to stay far, far away.

joekenha on January 27, 2014 at 9:46 AM

He supported kicking folks off welfare for drug use……

libfreeordie on January 27, 2014 at 9:52 AM

Thank you, Rep. Radel. You did the right thing for yourself and your party.

GOPRanknFile on January 27, 2014 at 9:56 AM

He supported kicking folks off welfare for drug use……

libfreeordie on January 27, 2014 at 9:52 AM

And? Sounds like a pretty damned good idea to kick parasites off public assistance for being druggies. That’s illegal, you know. And it isn’t hypocrisy on Radel’s part unless he was getting welfare.

Happy Nomad on January 27, 2014 at 9:58 AM

Thank you, Rep. Radel. You did the right thing for yourself and your party.

GOPRanknFile on January 27, 2014 at 9:56 AM

Better late than never. Though I have to say that a month in rehab doesn’t solve addiction problems. I would hope that he is continuing to deal with his problems. Getting out of the public spotlight is a good step in meaningful recovery.

Happy Nomad on January 27, 2014 at 10:01 AM

He supported kicking folks off welfare for drug use……

libfreeordie on January 27, 2014 at 9:52 AM

So, if you use illegal drugs but manage to have a paying job and not use entitlements like welfare, you should support welfare recipients using drugs?

Is that the argument?

I don’t support this guy, but you need (as we have long known) some serious education in logic. Your emotive thinking is really pretty dumb.

Monkeytoe on January 27, 2014 at 10:23 AM

So, if you use illegal drugs but manage to have a paying job and not use entitlements like welfare, you should support welfare recipients using drugs?

Is that the argument?

I don’t support this guy, but you need (as we have long known) some serious education in logic. Your emotive thinking is really pretty dumb.

Monkeytoe on January 27, 2014 at 10:23 AM

Dude was a public employee betraying the public trust buying coke on the taxpayer’s dime.

Logic seems sort of good. He also was against medical marijuana.

I guess he thought illegal coke and alcohol are better.

mazer9 on January 27, 2014 at 10:28 AM

If pot is the “gateway” drug, why did this guy go to rehab for alcohol? There seems to be a pattern of public officials requiring AA whenever they get in trouble? Perhaps we should rethink which drug needs to be criminalized?

mazer9 on January 27, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Toronto’s Rob Ford should do the same honorable action.

sadatoni on January 27, 2014 at 10:51 AM

chillier than Polar Vortex I or II

Stop calling them that. It’s not as if they were the first and second instances of a polar vortex descending over the continent.

steebo77 on January 27, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Rep. Trey Radel arrested for cocaine possession
1m
Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla, says his resignation is effective as of 6:30 pm ET on Monday – @CBSPolitics
read more on cbsnews.com
==========================

https://twitter.com/CBSPolitics

canopfor on January 27, 2014 at 10:59 AM

So, when are all y’all going to demand mandatory, repeated, and random drug testing of everyone in Congress? It’s easy to pile on this guy because he got caught. And are you certain POTUS and VPOTUS are clean, too.

Christien on January 27, 2014 at 12:02 PM

I don’t know the other two, but Connie Mack needs to stay far, far away.

joekenha on January 27, 2014 at 9:46 AM

Yup. Dynastic politicians need not apply, especially those would-be beltway barnacles who seem so eager to attempt to latch onto the federal gravy train.

I’d like to think Florida can do better, but our record is really spotty in that regard.

mintycrys on January 27, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Pressure from Boehner…likely Scott, the FL gov., whom I can’t stand, will put Connie Mack, an old-timer corruptocrat, in his place.

I’m not for taking drugs and the guy is an idiot for doing so, but the cabal wanted him out, not because he took them/got treated, but because of what the left would have done, and because he was more TEA than Mack, likely…

In the D side the guy would have been made a hero and would have gotten promoted.

Schadenfreude on January 27, 2014 at 12:26 PM

or very worried about more info about prior usage.

dmacleo on January 27, 2014 at 8:57 AM

Why would he be worried about that? To misquote Frau Pantsuit, at this point, what does it matter? I think everyone who knows about this presumes this is part of a long-standing habit…

JohnGalt23 on January 27, 2014 at 12:30 PM

Gabby Gifford waited until January 2012 to resign from Congress because that qualified her for a pension (there’s a five year vesting period). Even though Radel was only elected in 2012, is it possible that there was some similar financial benefit for him to wait until January 2014?

dpwiener on January 27, 2014 at 1:18 PM

He supported kicking folks off welfare for drug use……

libfreeordie on January 27, 2014 at 9:52 AM

So he didn’t support the governments efforts to ensure drug use equality.

“Don’t have money for drugs but your neighbor does? Use your welfare benefits.”

BobMbx on January 27, 2014 at 1:30 PM

likely Scott, the FL gov., whom I can’t stand, will put Connie Mack, an old-timer corruptocrat, in his place.

Schadenfreude on January 27, 2014 at 12:26 PM

That would only be a possibility if this were a Senate, not a House, seat.

steebo77 on January 27, 2014 at 1:51 PM

Good.
Now if only we could get rid of Boehner, Cantor & Ryan too.

Iblis on January 27, 2014 at 1:56 PM

Can LTC West run for that seat?

Sergeant Major on January 27, 2014 at 5:03 PM

He supported kicking folks off welfare for drug use……

libfreeordie on January 27, 2014 at 9:52 AM

In other words, his policy was wiser than his personal life. Not really newsworthy. Most people talk standards better than they uphold. Only someone with no standards at all can evade all chance of being called a hypocrite, but only if they also never open their mouth.

Keep trying, keep failing.

Freelancer on January 27, 2014 at 8:04 PM

Naturally, Obama refuses to resign after having his cocaine habit exposed.

Terp Mole on January 28, 2014 at 9:42 AM