Thursday, April 21, 2011

Op Ed: Corruption: Shame on YOU!

Luis Santos was fatally stabbed outside a San Diego State fraternity party in 2008. (Family photo)

While I try to keep Politics as far away from Ascending Butterfly as possible, it's been super difficult to cover the sky with one hand and pretend that the news hasn't been affecting me lately!

What some of you may not know about me is that I worked for a Politician awhile back and spent some time representing the City Councilman I worked for at Police Precinct, Hospital and School Board Meetings as he couldn't be in all places at once. Prior to my time working in Government, I worked as a local reporter and covered quite a bit of Political Reporting. I think that's one of the reasons I've kept this blog Politics and Op Ed free for so long. I made a living doing it, and I wanted this site to focus on things that inspire and keep me inspired.

I'm the first to say that not ALL politicians are bad, or corrupt, many take very limited resources and make impactful changes in their respective communities.

But watching interviews with former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger where he has been yawning to express his boredom on being questioned repeatedly by reporters for his decision to reduce the prison sentence of (the son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez), Esteban Nuñez, who had pleaded guilty to participating in the killing of college student Luis Santos have literally outraged me! He also granted several other commutations and pardons and gave government appointments to political allies and the spouse of his chief of staff. A court of law found Esteban guilty, as far as I'm concerned he should have served his full sentence! Not to mention how disrepectful is his childish action of yawning in front of the cameras to the victim and his family? If roles were reversed, and he was the Father of a Murdered Child how would he feel?

Danroy Henry, photo credit @Gothamist
 And if that wasn't enough, back in my home state of New York, there is the decision by The Pleasantville Police Benevolent Association to award Officer Aaron Hess, who shot and killed the Pace University Student Danroy Henry, the "Officer Of The Year" Award. WHAT???

He was honored for the "dignified and professional manner [he's] conducted himself throughout his career and this ordeal." First of all, I don't understand why he wasn't fired, nevertheless to now be receiving this award, recognition and 'honor'.

I have New York Finest in my family, and I know the struggles and sacrifices that Police Officers make on a daily basis. I appreciate their sacrifices and don't blame the bunch for a bad apple, but how does someone consciencly decide to award this man? How do you bestow honor on him and sleep at night?

My heart truly goes out to both of the families affected by these decisions.

This Op Ed isn't meant to throw stones, there is no one alive who can say they have a decision somewhere along the line that they don't regret, but when you make a poor decision, and continue to rub it in the face of those you hurt, the least you can do is not be 'bored' or 'surprised' by the backlash.

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Officer Aaron Hess are not even sorry nevertheless contrite, what does that say about them? What does that say about us? Where is this nation headed, why are we giving honors and awards to the wrong people?

While my normal way of affecting change is to highlight an unsung hero, there are times when the injustices are just so great that they can't continue to be ignored!

I chose to post photos of the victims instead of former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Officer Aaron Hess.

Please note that while I don't agree with their decisions or politics, I did not personally bash them, and I ask that any responses to this post be equally respectful.

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FTC Disclosure: This is a pure opinion based editorial, I was not asked to write about this. If you would like to read more about these cases, sources I used in this editorial include both the LA Times as well as Gothamist.

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