Tea Party Republican Arrested For Cocaine Possession (Updated)

trey-radelRepublican Florida Rep. Trey Radel has been charged with misdemeanor cocaine possession in Washington, D.C. A newly elected Tea Party Republican, Radel issued a contrite statement that he has struggled with alcohol and that his alcoholism led to “an extremely irresponsible choice.” UPDATE: Radel has pleaded guilty and received a one year probation sentence.

Radel is a former television reporter and conservative radio host.

This is not his first controversy in a relatively short political career. During the campaign, it was discovered that his campaign committee “Friends of Trey Radel, Inc.” had purchased his opponents’ domain names. Radel first denied playing a role in the subterfuge and blamed staff. He then later admitted it was his doing. His campaign then created misleading websites to highlight negative aspects of his opponents’ voting records. He is described as a Tea Party favorite and was endorsed by both Connie Mack and Rudy Giuliani.

The criminal charge is relatively minor with a potential for 180 days of imprisonment and/or a fine of $1,000. Do you think that Radel’s position should be considered in the sentence? Any jail time for the tough-on-crime Tea Party candidate would come at a heavy personal and political cost.

Radel recently called for President Obama’s impeachment, stressing that his actions must have consequences: ““It is one of those times in our history, we are at this breaking point. We have completely lost our checks and balances in this country, the Congress needs to hold the president accountable for the decisions that he’s making right now, and that why again, I would say that all options should be on the table.”

The question is what the “breaking point” may be for the Tea Party and its supporters in Florida.

144 thoughts on “Tea Party Republican Arrested For Cocaine Possession (Updated)”

  1. Blouise,

    “And let us not forget that Dupont Circle, which is where he made the buy, is also where the Colombian ambassador’s residence is located … in case you want to see it.”

    And let us also not forget Gary Webb, whose death from two gunshots to the head was decreed by the Sacramento County (CA) coroner as to be a suicide. Whose said original material was published by the San Jose Mercury News, then rescinded, then Webb being fired, then found dead.

  2. “I would say that those qualities you decry as lacking, are more lacking in the Tea Party types than any other part of the political spectrum.”

    We have one of those rare moments when we are in agreement, Randy. For all their “home spun grass roots” bullshit, the Tea Baggers are the biggest corporatist/fascist tools of the lot. And those that aren’t tools are dupes.

  3. if every congress critter who broke some law was forced to resign, we wouldnt have a government.

  4. HumpinDog, The reason I believe he should resign is not just the conviction. He was reckless. This bust went like most busts. A low level dealer gets popped and the cops ask, what you got for us. This street level guy says I got a new Congressman in town. Putting himself in that position leaves him open to extortion. He only bought an eight ball so it was for personal use. That’s why it was only a misdemeanor. If he wasn’t in a public trust position my thinking is who the hell cares. But, the guys in town 8 months and he’s cruising Dupont Circle for coke. He needs to go back home, get into a 12 step program, and then maybe redemption and reelection down the road. Everyone loves redemption stories.

  5. I just read the update that he pleaded guilty and got a year probation. I think that he should be on probation in Congress. But not kicked out. We need someone who is careful where he treads. Folks from New Hampshire can look to him for help. Don’t tread on me.

  6. DavidM,

    When have to divert facts from your agenda…… Pesky aren’t they…..

  7. this is what happens when all those scofflaw canadian snowbirds come down here to floriduh bringing their crack cocaine to our innocent teabaggers.

    INVADE CANADA NOW

  8. Well that would be because you have a conscience and a sense of ethics, Juliet, neither of which are commonly found in American pols of any stripe.

    1. Gene H I would say that those qualities you decry as lacking, are more lacking in the Tea Party types than any other part of the political spectrum. Of course, if he resigns, he will lose his “socialized” medicine he does NOT want the rest of us to have. He is willing to be a guinea pig, and sacrifice himself to test it out for the rest of us. See even he has some noble characteristics.

  9. I’m not in favor of criminalizing addiction, even for a Tea Party Republican who voted for drug testing people on public assistance, while using illegal drugs himself. However, if I were he, I would resign.

  10. DavidM,

    Your hypocrisy is comical. Whatever Radel may have said about legalizing drugs, he voted for mandatory drug testing of aid recipients. What? you think he was intending it to be a survey? Just as pertinently, he came out against legalizing marijuana in a public debate. The guy’s a phony.

    And using cocaine as an elected official from a state that experiences thousands of deaths per year resulting from the cocaine trade is far worse than lying to cover up a personal indiscretion, like Weiner did.

    Radel’s a phony through and through. But not you. You are a genuine.

    1. RTC wrote: “And using cocaine as an elected official from a state that experiences thousands of deaths per year resulting from the cocaine trade is far worse than lying to cover up a personal indiscretion, like Weiner did.”

      I don’t view it the same way at all. Anthony Weiner looked me in the face and outright lied. That is not the same thing as a man buying some cocaine. A man who lies cannot be trusted.

      Nevertheless, I think I have been clear that I am not taking the position of justifying Congressman Radel. I just think the rationale you all use to demonize him is inappropriate. Radel is referred to as a tough-on-crime Tea Party Republican who is a hypocrite for voting to prevent fraud in the SNAP program. The implication is that if someone is an easy-on-crime Socialist Democrat who welcomes drug addicts to the SNAP program, well, that is a man we can trust! I don’t like that implication.

      As far as I am concerned, we cannot trust a drunk and a drug addict to function as a Congressman. Congressman Radel should resign. If he doesn’t resign, the Office of Congressional Ethics and the House Committee on Ethics should deal with him. And as I said before, he should have received some jail time even if this was a first offense. He is a Congressman and should be held to a high standard and punished more severely than the average citizen. He was participating in creating laws for us, and he should experience the punishments those laws stipulate if he breaks them. The man should experience jail.

  11. ap,

    And let us not forget that Dupont Circle, which is where he made the buy, is also where the Colombian ambassador’s residence is located … in case you want to see it. 😉

  12. Good catch Elaine. Saying you are against the war on drugs when you are using drugs, might be a weird conflict of interest.
    david,
    the time I was handcuffed still sticks with me even though it happened in May of 1970. Secondly, a Congressman who wants SNAP recipients to be drug tested and is then doing the perp walk for doing drugs would be quite memorable. For all concerned. Along with the same sentencing that SNAP recipients might get for the same offense.

  13. GaryT, This guy supported ending the draconian mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines, and wants to end the war on drugs. And Blouise is correct, we have a duopoly ruling royalty and they are all treated deferentially by law enforcement.

  14. Gary,

    there are NO TRUE Libertarians in office…..

    In general, I tend to be against guns, and have no problem with higher taxes to fund public health and such…..

    I do however think that ALL drugs should be legal for the exact reasons I mention above…..

  15. If it was a Libertarian office holder who got charged with cocaine possession, he’d have no egg to wipe off his face.
    Other than the legal problems, his only public defense would be “Yeah? So what?”

    1. Gary T wrote: “If it was a Libertarian office holder who got charged with cocaine possession, he’d have no egg to wipe off his face.
      Other than the legal problems, his only public defense would be “Yeah? So what?””

      It is somewhat ironic that some here have argued that the Tea Party is not a grass roots movement, but rather a movement created by wealthy libertarians. Now they want to claim that this Tea Party person is a tough-on-crime person who supports the war on drugs. They can’t understand the concept of diversity in the Republican party.

      By way of disclosure, I am a proud Tea Party Republican but not a Libertarian. I support decriminalizing drugs, but I also think some dangerous drugs may need to be regulated and treated as a civil infraction, like a traffic ticket.

      In regards to SNAP, of course these people should be drug tested. There is a huge problem of fraud where tax dollars from SNAP are being diverted to buying drugs. There needs to be some control of this problem. Drug testing is one simple way to help keep the poor folks honest. The money for SNAP should go toward FOOD, not DRUGS. Why is that so hard for people to understand? Even if all the drugs were legalized, SNAP recipients should be tested to make sure they are needing the assistance for food and not drugs. If they have money for drugs, then they have money for food. There is no hypocrisy in a Congressman voting for SNAP drug testing and then going out and using drugs. His offense is in claiming to be a law abiding Congressman, swearing an oath to uphold the laws of this country, and then violating those laws. For this infraction, the man should be fined and go to jail. Unfortunately, our judicial system has failed yet again.

      1. DavidM: “There is a huge problem of fraud where tax dollars from SNAP are being diverted to buying drugs.”

        According to whom? A real source with actual statistics would be appreciated, because I thought the fraud rate was under 2%. Also, when drug testing has been done, the money spent on enforcement was much more than the money saved from cutting people with positive tests from the program.

        Sounds like a bad financial decision to me, in addition to being bad public policy.

      2. DavidM, I never knew that drug dealers will take food stamp cards. How does that one work? Do they have the card machine readers that will take the number and tap into their account?

        How about we the people paying for drug rehab for this guy? I think that is a lot worse an abuse, since he opposes such health care options for the rest of us.

        1. randyjet wrote: “I never knew that drug dealers will take food stamp cards. How does that one work?”

          No, they sell the card for less than face value. They have a $100 card, they sell it to you for $60. They beg me all the time to do it for them. If you search Craigslist, you might some ads.

          1. davidm NOW I understand why you leap to this guys defense. I never knew you were a drug dealer. LOL! One has to wonder how they get the card back after they sell it since they need it for next months allotment.

  16. “A rose by any other name would smell … the same” (not Shakespeare’s) 🙁

    🙂

    Sad, but true, Blouise. (Love the images — they fit nicely here: “kid gloves”, “tea party” (lower case, of course… wink, wink).) Rank hypocrisy, as many have noted.)

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