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Politics 🗳️ Character issues and public office

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

  • Second degree murder (crime of passion)

    Votes: 3 8.1%
  • Embezzlement

    Votes: 2 5.4%
  • Grand Larceny (say, over $1000)

    Votes: 3 8.1%
  • Assault/battery

    Votes: 8 21.6%
  • Tax fraud

    Votes: 4 10.8%
  • Spousal/child non-support

    Votes: 9 24.3%
  • Statutory rape (she was 28 he was 15)

    Votes: 5 13.5%
  • Blackmail or extortion

    Votes: 2 5.4%
  • Possession of methamphetamines with intent to deliver

    Votes: 7 18.9%
  • Possession of marijuana with intent to deliver

    Votes: 14 37.8%
  • Perjury

    Votes: 5 13.5%
  • Involuntary manslaughter

    Votes: 11 29.7%
  • Sexual assault

    Votes: 2 5.4%
  • Passing bad checks

    Votes: 9 24.3%
  • Drunk driving

    Votes: 23 62.2%
  • none of the above (or I'd rather vote for someone less competent but more ethical)

    Votes: 11 29.7%

  • Total voters
    37
  • Poll closed .

Maister

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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?
 

Veloise

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Given this morning's events in the 313, why limit this to governor?
 

Maister

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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:

zman

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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-

From the Simpsons said:
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.
 

ofos

Vintage Cyburbian
Messages
8,278
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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.
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
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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.
 

kjel

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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.
 

ofos

Vintage Cyburbian
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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?
 

Random Traffic Guy

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644
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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
 

el Guapo

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I beg to differ RTG: Drunk driving is hardly a victimless crime.

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
 

mike gurnee

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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?
 

Random Traffic Guy

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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.
 

el Guapo

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I explained the damage in a PM.


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.
 

Maister

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Bumping this really old thread primarily because of the poll results. I think the results are interesting in light of how we may have an indicted or even convicted felon running for President in 2024.
 
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