Mich. Ponders 'Criminal Public Official' Ban, Shame is They Even Have to

-By Warner Todd Huston

Thanks to an increasingly lowered level of public discourse and comportment, more than ever those notorious or infamous for their behavior are help up as people worth applauding. Just as unfortunate, many of these lowlives are ending up voted in as our representatives in state and federal offices. Michigan thinks it has a way to address this problem, but the sad thing is they even have to do it at all.

A November ballot proposal will give voters in the Wolverine state the opportunity to decide if criminals should be barred from holding office for at least 20 years after they’ve earned certain types of felony convictions.

As the AP reports:

The measure would ban anyone from being elected or appointed to any state or local elective office if they’ve been convicted of certain felonies in the previous 20 years. It would apply to felonies involving dishonesty, deceit, fraud or a breach of public trust connected to the person’s government job.

One would think that a sentient voter wouldn’t need a state statute to tell him not to vote for a crook. Unfortunately, looking across the country seems to reveal that this common sense ideas isn’t so common as one would hope.

But voting crooks into office seems to be de rigueur in far too many city, state and federal elections these days.

But this is just a reflection of the times, sadly. When people clamor to learn of the bad-girl antics of actresses like Lindsay Lohan or Angelina Jolie (whose new tell-all book is reportedly getting a $200 million advance), when sports fans continue to root for drug users, rapists, and troublemakers, and when felons end up with TV shows, we are seeing a complete lack of community wide shock at the sort of behavior that would have caused all good people to ostracize the perpetrator in days past.

But here we have a society that doesn’t seem to know why it shouldn’t vote criminals into office. And we have to ponder writing laws to prevent criminals from attaining office. Seems like a low point for sure.

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