To the editor:
It sounds like an action-packed novel worthy of a Hollywood movie but, in reality, this is what Mr. Radel has left behind.
The State of Florida is again embarrassed with political issues. It is not a big deal considering we have endured the chad thing, the longest voting wait time on record, and the meaningless voter count in the last Presidential election. Radel's cocaine snorts are going to cost Florida taxpayers a whopping $1.5 million for a special election to cover Radel's vacant seat for less than one year. The winner might be called the million dollar politician and I hope he or she might be a decent sort of person not partaking of illegal drugs or other unsavory behavior which may cause resignations, jail time etc., and another $1.5 million to the taxpayers.
All this drama and expense can be avoided in the future if we require drug testing from candidates in local, State and Federal elections. The cost of the drug testing can be added to their qualifications and filing fees. Maybe Obamacare will pay for yearly drug testing after they are elected. Certainly a polygraph exam should be a requirement before each election and every year after being elected to office. Drug testing, together with polygraph exams, will provide the voters a small sense of assurance that politicians will start with a clean slate and their response after, "Do you promise to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?" will be believable.
In addition, elected officials should be required to obtain liability insurance at their own expense to pay for such things as special elections.
I know we won't have many candidates to choose from if we require drug and polygraph testing, but that's a good thing. We should also extend the testing to those currently holding office. Maybe then we can find more honest ones who will tell the truth and do what is right.
I am still waiting for the lawyers to chime in and file a class action lawsuit against Radel to cover the special election expenses. I read Radel has more than $200,000 left in his campaign account. This would be a good start in paying back the taxpayers of District 19.