Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Run away fast

    The Idaho Republican Party and the House of Representatives that it controls with an 80 percent majority should put on jogging shoes and run away from Rep. Mark Patterson of Boise as fast as they can.
    On an application for a concealed weapons permit, under penalty of perjury, Patterson failed to disclose that he had received a withheld judgment in 1974 in Florida where he had pleaded guilty to the charge of assault with intent to commit rape, a felony. He was sentenced to five years of probation.
    Lying on a concealed weapons permit is bad enough. However, when the Ada County sheriff revealed the lie and revoked the permit, Patterson tried to muddy the waters by portraying himself as the victim of a vendetta by the sheriff because they disagreed on legislation. He claimed he didn’t have to reveal the withheld judgment, even though Idaho law demands it. He also claimed, without offering any evidence to date, that the assault victim in Florida recanted.
    He’s painted himself as misunderstood, forgetful, politically abused and legally persecuted. Whether his response is an attempt at redemption or just a raging all-about-me syndrome matters not. It’s hogwash, plain and simple.
    The Idaho Republican Party platform states, “We believe that the rights of individuals can only be maintained by exercising personal responsibility for behavior.”
    Patterson has done the opposite. He’s brought dishonor to the House and the state, flouted the law and abused his constituents. Why then are Gov. Butch Otter and the GOP’s 80 percent majority in the House sitting tight with no comment?
    It’s time for Republicans to lace up their shoes, shove Patterson through the Capitol’s exit and head the other way.

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