It’s hard for us to imagine allowing family members and friends to receive political favors, albeit cash money, due to our position in government. But it’s more difficult to fathom that a public trustee would, when his hand was caught in the proverbial cookie jar, blame it on the messenger rather than accept full responsible for his or her actions.
That’s what U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Albany-Columbus, did. He steered scholarships to those close to him and said he did nothing wrong when he got caught.
Indeed, the only thing that seems to bother Bishop worse than getting busted is that Republican opponent Mike Keown is making the most of the congressman’s misdeeds with Congressional Black Caucus Scholarship funds.
Despite this not being the first time he’s been caught on the wrong side of the moral compass, Bishop insists he’s a victim, not a culprit. He says that the only mistakes made during his scandal-plagued campaign were those of his campaign staffers.
That’s too bad.
We don’t know for certain yet that Keown is more ethical than Bishop – time in Congress would only tell for sure. But we do know that Bishop’s morals – which not only allow him to do horrible things, but to refuse to promise that he’ll do better – thus far don’t meet our standards for government service.
Still, it’s never too late to do the right thing.
As such, we hope that Bishop comes clean and offers full disclosure and a public apology for misappropriating the scholarship funds. Not only that, he needs to needs to convince us that he will never betray our trust again. Then – and only then – will we give him viable consideration as a candidate for public office.
By Kevin Hogencamp