“How Can People Consider Voting For Candidates This Unethical?”: New York State Assembly Candidate Charles Barron (D) and Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis (R)

Barron (top); Ardis (bottom). Do your civic duty and vote: cyanide will be handed out when you leave...

Barron (top); Ardis (bottom). Do your civic duty and vote: cyanide will be handed out when you leave…

(“How Can People Consider Voting For Candidates This Unethical?” or HCPCVFCTU for short will flag the worst of the worst, the really awful politicians  whose lack of ethics should be a source of humiliation to all who support them.)

I have pledged to keep this category balanced between Republicans and Democrats, and since the first candidate featured was a Democrat and the utterly horrific candidate who came to may attention this morning also belonged to that party, I am featuring two politicians this morning to avoid the inevitable accusations that I take my orders from Glenn Beck and Fox News:

  • Charles Barron (D)  Barron is a New York City Councilman who is expected to coast to an easy victory after winning a Democratic primary for an open seat on the New York State legislature. He is an outspoken fan of Third World military dictators, Communist thugs and murderers, among them the late Libyan leader Muammar el-Quaddafi and former Cuban President Fidel Castro. “All my heroes were America’s enemies,” Barron proudly told the New York Observer in a recent interview. One of his favorite role models is Zimbabwe’s repressive President Robert Mugabe, whom he compares to Nelson Mandela. “I would love for him to come to Albany. I would love for him to come anywhere in the United States, really,”  Barron says. “I think he’s a shining example of an African leader on the African continent.”

When asked about some of Mugabe’s less sterling moments, Barron’s response is Unethical Rationalization #19, “No one’s perfect.” Mugawe is believed to have instituted genocide against the  Matabele citizens of Zimbabwe in 1983 and 1984, resulting in 20,000 deaths. All of the elections keeping him in power have been tainted by corruption and fraud. He has enacted repressive  laws against homosexuality, and has described gays as “worse than dogs and pigs.”

Other than those blemishes, Barrron’s hero is apparently  perfect.

Ardis is back in the news this morning because I lost my bet. When the Mayor illegally ordered a SWAT team to raid the house where Jon Daniels, the young man who runs that Twitter account, lives, falsely using as a pretense a city statute that prohibits impersonating an official, the police also found some marijuana and drug paraphernalia in the bedroom of his housemate and landlord, Jacob Elliott.  “I will be stunned if the marijuana charge stands up in court. Where was the crime that justified the police being there at all? The search warrant was improperly obtained and issued. If this isn’t the Fruit of the Poisonous Tree, I don’t know what is. Fruit of the Stupid Tree, maybe,” I wrote. I’ll stand by the stupid part, but so far, stupid is prevailing. A judge, even while acknowledging that the warrant to search the home was illegal because the law Ardis used doesn’t apply to the internet, refused to exclude the pot as evidence to be used against Elliott  Again, I can’t see this decision holding up: if evidence of a crime by an individual can be legally seized by police while they execute an illegal warrant against his house mate, then all a clever prosecutor (or idiot mayor) has to do is get a bogus warrant on the roomie of the citizen who is really the target of the search.

This new legal fiasco just highlights the dangers of voting for  juvenile, ignorant incompetents like Ardis for public office. Good work Peoria: this man was re-elected unanimously in 2013, with no opposition. This man has also uttered interpretations of the Constitution that would get him an F in middle school civics, like

“I still maintain my right to protect my identity is my right. Are there no boundaries on what you can say, when you can say it, who you can say it to? You can’t say (those tweets) on behalf of me. That’s my problem. This guy took away my freedom of speech.”


1. Nobody but an idiot would ever think Jon Daniel’s spoof Twitter feed was really…oh. Right.

2. No, there aren’t a lot of boundaries that the law can enforce, and God Bless America for that. Whatever boundaries there are, however, do not include satirical fake Tweets designed to annoy a public servant who richly deserves it.

3. Yes, you can say those tweets, you ignorant disgrace.

4. Oh, you’ve got a lot more problems than that.

5. No, you took away his freedom of speech. You can say anything you want to.

How Can People Consider Voting For Candidates This Unethical?

I am curious, though. In some sick, dystopian Hell where the only candidates for an elected office were Charles Barron and Jim Ardis, who would you vote for?


16 thoughts on ““How Can People Consider Voting For Candidates This Unethical?”: New York State Assembly Candidate Charles Barron (D) and Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis (R)

  1. In this hypothetical race, Jack, I’d pick Barron. An idiot? Clearly – but his opponent has already demonstrated willingness to use totalitarian tactics. Barron, to date, as apparently done nothing more than admire them.

    Of course, you are setting up something of a false dilemma here, in that there are at least two additional options: 1) not voting for either, or 2) – my preferred option – moving the hell out of any constituency so fucked up as to allow this pair to face off.

    • The first draft of the poll included those two options. My problem was that 1) not voting just leaves it to others to choose the lesser of two evils, and the others are less ethical and informed than you are, and 2) leaving is surrender and abdication.

    • I had a very similar train of thought, I wouldn’t vote for either of them. BUT. If someone held a gun to my head and threatened to shoot me unless I picked one, or my favorite ethics website asked me to really really nicely, I’d pick Barron. A stupid, ignorant, misguided fawning for leaders that are ‘popular’ with Democrats for some reason I can’t fathom should cause people not to vote for you, but it doesn’t preclude you from office like Ardis, who is actively abusing the powers of his office to silence opposition.

  2. Jack,
    You are aware that, currently, the posts are still weighted against the Democrats? Also, so strict a method does somewhat reinforce the already entrenched idea that there are ONLY two sides but, you know — nothing’s perfect.

    • Gimme a break–this series just started, and its only 2-1. Unless you are counting all my nearly 500o posts, which even I haven’t had the courage to do. I’m sure it’s weighted against Democrats because the President is a Democrat, and the whole blog has been in a Democratic administration. The opposite was true for the Ethics Scoreboard, which, oddly, was never accused of being a conservative-biased during the Bush administration.

      I hear you on the two sides. I hope to have some third party candidates in there…

      • The problem is that third parties are sufficiently small that their candidate’s bad behaviors will rarely make the news until they become a threat to a major party candidate, and even then may just be shuffled under the rug to avoid giving them publicity. Although not quite an example (libertarian leaning republican rather than libertarian party member), the way the media handled Ron Paul in the last presidential convention demonstrates a strong bias against covering third party candidates I think. I submit one of the better daily show clips as evidence. http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/in35c7/indecision-2012—corn-polled-edition—ron-paul—the-top-tier

        I believe, but have not double checked, that he still got more coverage than the actual libertarian candidate.

    • Ethics are NON-Partisan. Get over it.

      If one day, 100 Democrats were found to be child-rapists and 2 Republicans were, you’d moan that Jack covered 4 of the Democrats and only 2 Republicans.

      Either these ARE legitimate ethical breaches being discussed, in which case, Party shouldn’t matter to you, or you are just quietly nervous that Leftism/Statism/Collectivism attracts less ethical people. I don’t know, maybe it does – likely it doesn’t.

      But for crying out loud, Jack reports on what Jack sees, get over it.

  3. I would vote for neither candidate. If such views were generally accepted by the community and I had only those two choices I would move.

    I am sure that both candidates made a calculated assessment on whether or not either’s statement or action would “Play in Peoria”.

    Barron’s reverence for third world dictators indicates that the electorate has no idea of the atrocities committed by these thugs. He plays on their ignorance and general desire to elevate a leader of African origin. I doubt seriously he would answer if asked: Would you embrace the genocidal actions of Mugabe in order to maintain the office to which you seek? He knows that the majority of the districts constituents find that believing white America and capitalism is at the root of their own economic failure is much easier than accepting personal responsibility for their own lack of achievement.

    Ardis, on the other hand is using the general fear of identity theft to use his power to silence an antagonist. Such a ruse will be seen by many as a legitimate act. Nonetheless, that also plays on the public’s willingness to accept strong arm political tactics when they do not feel that such behavior will ever affect them.

    Therefore, I not only condemn the ethics of the politicians but also the electorate that elevates them to power.

  4. I voted for Ardis because I feel he is small potatoes. He is obviously a small man, overwhelmed with running a city the size of Peoria. I think setting up numerous fake-e-mail accounts linked to twitter accounts criticizing him will keep him chasing his own tail and prevent too much damage. Despite what he has done, I don’t think he actually has a devious plan to enslave the population.

    Barron, on the other hand, has aspirations. He wants to be a dictator/mass murderer. All Americans are his enemy. It is doubtful any law or court will restrain his ambitions in whatever office he finds. The damage this man could do is limited only by how long it takes an outside agency or a popular insurrection to oust him.

  5. I voted for Barron, under the theory that I’d rather have an idiot whose worst behaviors can be resisted by other than a competent authoritarian who has already proven able and willing to do whatever it takes to get power. I could be wrong on that assessment, but I’ve never really liked “Better the devil you know” as an argument.

    • I take that back. I didn’t vote for Barron, I voted against Ardis as the bigger threat. Same different practically speaking, but I felt dirty writing it the other way.

    • Did you actually call Ardis competent? I haven’t seen anything that justifies that. If police and prosecutors weren’t ready and willing to arrest and prosecute anyone on any pretext, this guy would have been laughed out of office. Any person we should trust as a police officer would have refused to take part in such a raid. Any prosecutor worthy of a law license would have refused to prosecute such an obvious political vendetta. That is what scares me about someone like Barron. If he just decides that anyone with an American flag gets arrested and sent to jail, the police and prosecutors may just happily follow along. What if he decides to have violent racial policies like Mugabe?

      • How about “actually able to successfully abuse his authority and get away with it”. Barron is all talk so far in the writeup Jack gave us.

        • The way I look at it, he just made a idiotic, illegal, narcissistic order. Saying “They made fun of me, arrest them” doesn’t make someone effective. That the police and prosecution took it from there and ran with it is the really frightening thing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.