*Updated--see comment #5
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy-- MLK
We did some thinking on Senator Trip Pittman's weak offering of explanations about why he was not to blame for what he did when he personally gained from the BP Oil Spill money allotted to Baldwin County.
"I probably should have recused myself and tasked someone else with that responsibility," Pittman, R-Montrose, told members of the Press-Register Editorial Board.Pittman said he had not received ethics training until recently, and in hindsight, would have acted differently, although he said "no laws were broken."
If we go with the meaning of Martin Luther's quote there's really no defense for what Pittman did. He has shown his measure of integrity to be set so low that he is, self admittedly, incapable of doing the right thing unless he has mandated training in how to behave ethically.
It is the position of a fool who admits no conceptual understanding of right and wrong, but what is even more troubling is that a man, so devoid of self governing principles, is elected to the position of an Alabama State Senator, and is charged with making consequential decisions on the behalf of thousands of constituents and even more Alabamians during the legislative session.
Somewhere along the way, in the political process, this tractor ran off the road and so far into the ditch that it's become unrecoverable. And it appears that real justice for Pittman went right along with it.
The voters who elected Pittman to office bear some responsibility in this wreck, but it was ultimately Pittman who sank to new lows (some may say the same lows we have always had in Alabama politics) and betrayed each and every one of his constituents.
And now that he is caught, he refuses to 'man up' and take responsibility for what he's done and is hiding in the hole of the rats in charge of the Alabama Ethics Commission. In fact, he's going right ahead with another Pittman pit job in the controversial Foley Beach Express.
He said he supported the Beach Express project as the county’s priority, but did not want the other projects abandoned if state funding could be found.
He said his investment property and possible personal gain was never his motivation and "not relevant in the decision" to push for those projects.
Press-Register Editor Mike Marshall told Pittman that it is "our job to point out potential conflicts of interest" and suggested that Pittman could "recuse yourself from advocating projects that benefit you personally."
What will Pittman do, take his advice? Probably not, but what will his excuse be for jumping from the fire (oil boom contract) and into the frying pan known as the Foley Beach Express?
You cannot claim that you don't know better Senator because of a lack of learning proper ethics training when your constituents have given you a crash course (ethics complaint and growing outrage) in what they will and will not accept from their senator.
In the measure of a man test you have failed miserably Senator Pittman and we suggest that it's time for you to take your tractor and go home.
So Say We The Opinion Board Of The Vincent Alabama ConfidentialSubscribe in a reader