When Felons Rule, CtdPosted: January 29, 2016
In an editorial today, The Hartford Courant argues against giving corrupt politicians a second chance at holding public office:
For elected leaders who betray the people’s trust by using their office in a criminal manner to put personal gain above the public good, the right to run again should be revoked.
I expressed the same view in a post on this blog last November, so I agree with the Courant 100%.
Denying corrupt politicians the opportunity to run for public office again is not inconsistent with the objectives of the “second chance society,” which I support, as does the Courant. As I wrote last November:
We all make mistakes in life, some of them very serious and with criminal implications. I do not believe that a felony conviction alone should disqualify someone from running for public office. I do believe that a felony conviction based on bribery, embezzlement or other dishonest conduct involving abuse of the public trust while holding an elected or appointed public office should permanently bar someone from holding public office again.
UPDATE: A reader asked whether it would be constitutional for the General Assembly to pass a law prohibiting corrupt (and previously convicted) politicians from running for public office again. Short answer: Yes.