Congressman Trey Redel Busted for Cocaine Use
If you are Congressman Trey Radel, staying away from drugs is only a necessity if you need government assistance – but not, apparently, if you represent the people. Radel voted in favor of drug testing for food stamp recipients, but now, he is the one in need of help as he faces charges for cocaine possession. Radel was scooped right out of his Florida legislative seat as part of a federal multi-agency sting operation.
A Little about Congressman Radel
Trey Radel III is a freshman member of the United States House of Representative. Elected from Florida’s 19th congressional district, Radel covers the southwestern region of the state including Fort Myers, Naples and Cape Coral. Before running for office, he worked as a news anchor and conservative radio talk show host known for his tea party ideals.
According to federal officials, several key government law enforcement agencies worked together to create a task force in Washington D.C. A dealer captured by the task force indicated he had information about a congressional representative who was buying cocaine regularly. The agents set up a sting using the dealer as bait and caught the Congressman in the act. On October 29th, officials arrested Radel at his home on misdemeanor cocaine possession charges, which carry a maximum sentence of 180 days in jail and a 1,000 dollar fine.
Battling Addiction and Hypocrisy
In response to his arrest, Congressman Radel acknowledged his battle with alcoholism, claiming it has led him to make some bad decisions about other types of drugs. Drugs in politics are not isolated with Radel, of course. Radel’s arrest comes at a time when the international community’s attention is focused on Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford, and his recent bust for crack cocaine use. Boston Mayor-elect Martin Walsh, in a interesting parallel, has been forthcoming about a past of alcoholism.
Most disturbing from a political standpoint, however, is the sheer hypocrisy of people who would moralize and tell others how to live their lives while not living up to those same ideals themselves. This summer, Radel was voted to permit State drug testing of food stamp participants. No matter your stance on requiring needy people to be drug-free in order to get basic nutritional assistance, shouldn’t Congress be held to the same standards that they would enforce on the poor? In an age of drug testing as a condition of employment, how is it that Radel and his colleagues earn taxpayer money without so much as a pre-employment drug test?
Radel Gets Treatment
Like a true politician, Radel is making the most out of his situation. Now that people know he has a problem, he claims, he has the opportunity to get help. Apparently, he didn’t feel he could do that prior to his arrest. At this time, he is taking a leave of absence from Congress to undergo addiction rehabilitation, and states that he hopes his story will inspire others to get help. No word on whether he will get treatment for hypocrisy, too.