01 September 2007

Those Republicans and Family values

Here's some political news from the great state of Florida, not far from the sleezy port city I often mention. It's reported in Josh Marshall's "Talking Points Memo" blog. Here's the core of it:

Tonight, Barry S. Edward, organizer of Rudy's [ie Giuliani] Reagan Day Dinner fundraiser in Pinellas County, stepped down from his position after his criminal record of extorting sex and trafficking in stolen state computers was revealed.

Edwards called the 1998 arrests "old news", but decided to step down because "I'm not relevant and I shouldn't be the story."

Explaining the incidents, the Miami Herald writes ...

The two criminal incidents involving Edwards were unrelated, and occurred within months of each other in 1998.

According to a Florida State University arrest affidavit: Edwards was first charged after a 19-year-old FSU political science intern claimed Edwards, then an adjunct professor, plied him with beers, trolled briefly for prostitutes, watched ''heterosexual'' pornography and then exhorted him to masturbate in a game.

The intern said Edwards threatened him with bad grades if he didn't ''get into it.'' He declined to press charges. Edwards said the claims were ''lies'' but he didn't ''want to revisit it.'' Edwards was fired from FSU.*

Shortly after his extortion arrest, state Capitol police then arrested Edwards on charges of theft, burglary and dealing with stolen property after the cops said he stole at least $10,000 worth of computer equipment from offices of the Florida Legislature.

The student later decided not to press charges and Edwards was allowed to plead 'no contest' in the computers case.

Let's see: Foley, Vitter, Craig, now this guy. What is it about the Republican moral crusade that attracts these types? Shouldn't there be at least a bit of soul searching and questioning of fundamentals?

No. I didn't think so.

*for what it's worth: it is much easier to fire an adjunct prof for almost any reason, or no good reason at all, than a tenured or even tenure track prof so the level of proof may not have been high. Also the article is unclear if the charge was the cause of the firing. This is perhaps a bit unfair, it is certainly confusing and maybe even misleading. But still.

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