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Perhaps you thought the political world was finally safe from the dynamic duo of Ford & Radel. But no – heeeere they come, rushing back into the limelight!
Rob Ford, the explosive Mayor of Toronto, became a global punch line last fall when a video showed hizzoner smoking crack cocaine. Then came little blowups involving sexual harassment, a murder threat, knocking down a city councilwoman, and drunken rages. Yet, on January 2nd, Rob was back, filing for re-election and blurting out that, “My record speaks for itself.”
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Well, he’s right about that!
Even less charming is Trey Radel, a first-term congress critter from Fort Myers, Florida. His chief accomplishment in Washington was getting arrested last October for trying to buy cocaine from an undercover cop. But rather than humbly stepping down, or even quieting down, Trey called a December press conference to announce that he’s healed. Having completed a 28-day treatment program for addiction (though apparently not for narcissism), the former TV anchorman declared himself fit “to return to what I do, what you sent me to do in Washington.”
Presumably, that does not include scuttling around back alleys seeking drugs and drink. Radel said that, thanks to God and family, he’s a changed man. For one thing, while he still insists that poor families should be subjected to drug tests in order to get food stamps, he has slightly amended that Dickensian stance: “I think members of Congress should be tested as well,” he said with a straight face.
So Radel wants poor people’s food stamps automatically taken away if they’re caught using drugs. But, a lawmaker who gets nabbed can keep drawing his $170,000-a-year government salary. Still, that doesn’t make Radel a hypocrite, because, as Stephen Colbert points out, lawmakers don’t get food stamps.
“Toronto mayor files for re-election,” Austin American Statesman, January 3, 2014.
“A Year in Mayors’ Gaffes,” Time, December 23, 2013.
“Defying GOP Leaders, Rep. Trey Radel Won’t Resign After Rehab,” www.npr.org, January 2, 2014.
“Trey Radel interview: After cocaine arrest, congress aims for ‘successful year,'” www.news-press.com, December 19, 2013.