Tuesday, August 22, 2006

192: In Memoriam Representative Steve Maitland

We must not forget Steve Maitland, the man who sacrificed a career as a politician and his personal integrity in the name of personal greed. Maitland, you’ll remember, was dumped by his constituency in the May Republican Primary Election this year because he voted for last summer’s unconstitutional pay raise, accepted the money unconstitutionally early via a Supreme Court Chief Justice Ralph Cappy-contrived ‘unvouchered expense’, and then not only refused to give the money back but also defended keeping it because it would make him a better legislator because he used it for his law school tuition (despite rumors that it went toward a backyard pool, instead).

Now it is long past time to end his nonsense and pay the money back, file an amended Federal Income Tax return (If indeed he paid taxes on the money!), and make sure his retirement (which this blogger firmly believes he does not deserve!) is adjusted accordingly.

Voters across the state signaled their extreme anger in last November’s General Election when they unseated Supreme Court Justice Russell Nigro, and almost threw out fellow Justice Sandra Newman. That was not enough to assuage voter anger over the raise. In addition to approximately 30 legislators who decided not to seek their party’s nomination via the Primary process, signaling they were taking the money and running in some cases, there were a dozen and a half incumbents ousted in the Primary itself! That means there will be a minimum of nearly 50 new members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly in January.

Steve Maitland will not be there to welcome them.

If the voters' anger is not enough to convince Steve Maitland that he is dead wrong on this matter, then he is farther gone over to the dark side than previously suspected. No one should be as oblivious to the ethical and moral tenets that Maitland has violated, least of all Maitland, an aspiring lawyer and member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for 14 years. Perhaps that last part is the problem…he was too long in the legislature and lost his moral and ethical compass.

Maitland broke the faith with his constituents by his actions over this issue. He needs to atone for his sins, and in the process stop sticking it to his constituents. He must repay the money, all of it, and see to it that he makes no gain from it ever being there in the first place…that is, in particular, any money added to his retirement fund as a result of the “unvouchered expense” that he received.

Steve Maitland owes the voters who supported him in the past at least that much, and he owes it to his family to do the right thing, setting the proper moral and ethical example for his children, and removing the embarrassing yoke of shame-by-association from his wife. Even more, he needs to repay the money so that for the rest of his life, every morning when he shaves, the man he sees in the mirror can look him straight in the eye.


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