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Poll results: Would you vote for a capable gubernatorial candidate who 10 years ago served time for the following:

Voters
38. You may not vote on this poll
  • Second degree murder (crime of passion)

    3 7.89%
  • Embezzlement

    2 5.26%
  • Grand Larceny (say, over $1000)

    3 7.89%
  • Assault/battery

    8 21.05%
  • Tax fraud

    4 10.53%
  • Spousal/child non-support

    9 23.68%
  • Statutory rape (she was 28 he was 15)

    5 13.16%
  • Blackmail or extortion

    2 5.26%
  • Possession of methamphetamines with intent to deliver

    7 18.42%
  • Possession of marijuana with intent to deliver

    14 36.84%
  • Perjury

    5 13.16%
  • Involuntary manslaughter

    11 28.95%
  • Sexual assault

    2 5.26%
  • Passing bad checks

    8 21.05%
  • Drunk driving

    23 60.53%
  • none of the above (or I'd rather vote for someone less competent but more ethical)

    12 31.58%
Multiple choice poll
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Thread: Character issues and public office

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Character issues and public office

    How much importance do we attach to character issues for candidates running for public office? If an individual has a proven talent for balancing budgets, competence in conducting negotiations, and is an able administrator do we care if they were arrested a decade earlier on charges of drunk driving, tax fraud, or criminal sexual misconduct? What about if they were convicted of a felony a decade ago and have already served their sentence/debt to society, would you dismiss this candidate from consideration based on their previous conviction alone? Would the nature of the offense make a difference?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Given this morning's events in the 313, why limit this to governor?

  3. #3
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Veloise View post
    Given this morning's events in the 313, why limit this to governor?
    I simply figured the head of a state executive branch (governor) position would introduce the most ethical complexity (and opportunity for discussion) because the scale is large and the position involves fiscal duties as well as some other responsiblities to the public that a legislative, mayorial, or judicial office would typically not (e.g. in charge of National Guard etc). The poll is far from perfect and is intended to encourage discussion more than anything (lawyer types are no doubt cringing at some of the ways I classified crimes)
    Last edited by Maister; 04 Sep 2008 at 11:27 AM.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  4. #4
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    I'm Maister, and I approve this message

    From the years of 2004-2008, candidate zmanPLAN became a 7th level Clube member on Cyburbia, sparked numerous flame wars on other web forums and was a frequent visitor to Airliners.net Trip Reports page.

    Is this the Slacker you want running for office?
    PaidforbytheKeepZmanoutofapositionofresponsibiltycampaign

    -or-

    Quote Originally posted by From the Simpsons
    Mayor Joe Quimby supports "revolving door prisons", in fact Mayor Quimby release Sideshow Bob, a man twice convicted of attempted murder.

    Vote Sideshow Bob for Mayor.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  5. #5
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    How much importance do we attach to character issues for candidates running for public office? If an individual has a proven talent for balancing budgets, competence in conducting negotiations, and is an able administrator do we care if they were arrested a decade earlier on charges of drunk driving, tax fraud, or criminal sexual misconduct? What about if they were convicted of a felony a decade ago and have already served their sentence/debt to society, would you dismiss this candidate from consideration based on their previous conviction alone? Would the nature of the offense make a difference?
    I've been disenfranchised!!! You didn't give none of the above or other options.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  6. #6
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    I would probably allow for drunk driving and perjury.

    Drunk driving can happen to anyone and perjury can easily be an automatic defense mechanism hard wired into us by nature.

    The others on this poll would be much harder for me to accept and to accept it would require sufficient evidence that was the "old" them.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Drunk driving if it was only once and not a habitual thing. I wouldn't vote for someone with any of the other issues because it it comes down to trust. I think that public employees/officials have a duty to be fiscally responsible, act ethically, and be generally trustworthy. I realize however that we live in an imperfect world...after all I do live in NJ of all places.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  8. #8
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    The fact that someone would want to run for a higher political office with a conviction for one of those offenses on their record would give me more pause than the conviction itself. Given the way that politician's personal lives are scrutinized, doesn't that say more about their ego than anything else? Wouldn't you question their decision making ability?
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Fat Cat's avatar
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    Fat Cat

    I personally prefer ethics over competence.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Random Traffic Guy's avatar
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    Persons in office, like anyone who wields official authority (e.g. police) must be held to higher standards than the regular populace. The danger for abuse is too great.

    That said, I can forgive alot if restitution has been made and conduct changed, but it definitely depends on the nature of the offence. My answers to the poll were:

    Forgivable with reasons in red:
    Second degree murder (crime of passion) assuming provocation, no initiation of force
    Tax fraud no opt-in by the person = no contract = not fraud to break a nonexistent contract
    Spousal/child non-support no force or fraud if this was gov't-imposed. Not honoring a prenup willfully entered by all parties is fraud
    Statutory rape (she was 28 he was 15) victimless "crime"
    Possession of methamphetamines with intent to deliver victimless "crime"
    Possession of marijuana with intent to deliver victimless "crime"
    Involuntary manslaughter assuming restitution made, honest mistake
    Drunk driving forgivable as victimless "crime"... but NOT FORGIVABLE as indicator of stupidity and needless risk

    Not forgivable:
    Embezzlement Fraud
    Grand Larceny (say, over $1000) Fraud... petty larceny too
    Assault/battery initiation of force
    Blackmail or extortion Fraud
    Perjury Fraud
    Sexual assault Initiation of force
    Passing bad checks Fraud

  11. #11
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    I beg to differ RTG: Drunk driving is hardly a victimless crime.

    Quote Originally posted by Random Traffic Guy View post
    Persons in office, like anyone who wields official authority (e.g. police) must be held to higher standards than the regular populace. The danger for abuse is too great.

    That said, I can forgive alot if restitution has been made and conduct changed, but it definitely depends on the nature of the offence. My answers to the poll were:

    Forgivable with reasons in red:
    Second degree murder (crime of passion) assuming provocation, no initiation of force
    Tax fraud no opt-in by the person = no contract = not fraud to break a nonexistent contract
    Spousal/child non-support no force or fraud if this was gov't-imposed. Not honoring a prenup willfully entered by all parties is fraud
    Statutory rape (she was 28 he was 15) victimless "crime"
    Possession of methamphetamines with intent to deliver victimless "crime"
    Possession of marijuana with intent to deliver victimless "crime"
    Involuntary manslaughter assuming restitution made, honest mistake
    Drunk driving forgivable as victimless "crime"... but NOT FORGIVABLE as indicator of stupidity and needless risk

    Not forgivable:
    Embezzlement Fraud
    Grand Larceny (say, over $1000) Fraud... petty larceny too
    Assault/battery initiation of force
    Blackmail or extortion Fraud
    Perjury Fraud
    Sexual assault Initiation of force
    Passing bad checks Fraud

  12. #12
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Interesting thread; but perhaps it could be better worded. "Served time?" ofos is right on...the person would never get elected anyway. I know a person who served time for ballot box stuffing; he went on to greatness in education reform (but he knew he could never be elected dog catcher). It would be interesting to ask what character flaws one may overlook for the person as a whole. A womanizer? A penchant for young boys? Heavy drinking after work is done? Taking a toke but not inhaling?

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Random Traffic Guy's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by el Guapo View post
    I beg to differ RTG: Drunk driving is hardly a victimless crime.
    Please explain the damage caused by drunk driving. You are criminalizing a set of starting conditions (having alcohol in the system), not the actual result (causing harm while driving). Enforce the rules against reckless driving if you must, but do it without consideration to the source (alcohol, drugs, cell phone, argument, makeup, kids, etc)

    Crashing, yes; offenders there need to get a boot up the ass to a much higher degree, pour encourager les autres and all that.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    I explained the damage in a PM.


    Quote Originally posted by Random Traffic Guy View post
    Please explain the damage caused by drunk driving. You are criminalizing a set of starting conditions (having alcohol in the system), not the actual result (causing harm while driving). Enforce the rules against reckless driving if you must, but do it without consideration to the source (alcohol, drugs, cell phone, argument, makeup, kids, etc)

    Crashing, yes; offenders there need to get a boot up the ass to a much higher degree, pour encourager les autres and all that.

  15. #15
    Selected none of the above - learn towards importance of ethics and being held to a higher standard.

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