homepage logo

Local leaders comment on Radel dilemma

By Staff | Dec 20, 2013

With the House Ethics Committee investigating Congressman Trey Radel after he pleaded guilty to cocaine possession charges and his immediate political future hanging in the balance, city leaders on both sides of the aisle are weighing in on what happens now.

Even if some are getting sick to death hearing about it.

Cape Coral City Councilman Rick Williams said it’s hard to predict what will happen in Washington. His theory is that the mood of Congress at the time of the decision will determine Radel’s fate.

That could be tough, considering the Republican Party’s more moderate members have shoved back against the Tea Party faction, of which Radel was a darling of before his problems.

“If the Republicans push back harder and harder, then the decision will go against him. If they pull closer to the Tea Party it will go in his favor,” Williams said. “It will be a political decision.”

Southwest Florida Young Republicans vice president Cassandra Morris said that while she felt duped by Radel, the district should not be left without representation.

” not only did he fool us with his addiction but I also feel that he fooled us into thinking he was more conservative than what he actually turned out to be. Though I am disappointed I do not feel that we should suffer due to lack of representation while another candidate is put into his place,” Morris said in an e-mailed response.

Fellow Young Republican Jason White said the Ethics Commission will, if anything, make Radel more humanized.

“The Ethics Investigation is something that a regular corporation would do if their employee was involved in a situation like this. It is also important because it would damage Radel more if there wasn’t one,” White said, again in an e-mail.

On the other side of the aisle, Kay Nichols, vice-president of the Democratic Club of Cape Coral, said she was disappointed that this is a recurring problem for Radel and that the voters of Cape Coral elected him and now must endure the consequences of his actions.

“I think he should step down, but I’m a Democrat, so what do you expect. Even if he was a Democrat I would think he should step down,” Nichols said. “He hasn’t been in office long enough to become established, so he should address his family business.”

Nichols believes Radel won’t be kicked out of office, but will be disciplined in some way.

“I think he’ll just be reprimanded, and that’s about it. It’s sad that Cape Coral hasn’t been represented in the last few months,” Nichols said. “I think he needs to control his addiction and go back to a normal life.”

Of course, with endless news cycles, people like Williams are beginning to tird of it.

“Personally, I got so sick of seeing this I’ve been watching other news. He’s trying to get himself together. I don’t know if he’ll pull it off,” Williams said. “At the pace Congress moves, they won’t make a decision on what they’ll do until after the election.”

Others, like Young, believe it’s more important to send prayers to Trey Radel the person instead of calls for his head at Trey Radel the politician.

“A man broke a law and justice has been served. A man has a problem and needs help to get it fixed. The most important thing is that he gets help,” White said. “It’s sad because some people have lost focus of what the main goal is and they’re more concerned about the political aspect of it.”