Thursday, July 14, 2011

Drunk Driving Costs an Ohio Legislator His Job?

Idaho Sen. McGee

I read, or scan anywhere from 100-150 local news websites everyday, thus I see certain patterns in the stories and specific trends emerge.  For a while, there were tons of child porn prosecutions, child abuse and neglect stories, police misconduct, Ponzi schemes, in the spring and summer bicycle fatalities--right now there is a remarkable predominance of stories of public officials and drunk driving.  Yesterday, I featured the story of the Texas Assistant District Attorney who resigned after a drunk boating arrest.  The beleaguered Bronx assistant prosecutor, Jennifer Troiano was back in the news as the poster girl for favoritism in the NYC tabloids.  An Idaho republican senator, John McGee (pic) who stole a neighbors' Ford SUV and crashed it into a immovable object after a bizarre night of drinking got a misdemeanor plea deal and looks like he's getting a second chance at his political career with a misdemeanor plea deal and kind words from the sentencing judge.

Jennifer Troiano
But Ohio Rep. Robert Mecklenborg (pic, below right), a right wing and right to life zealot is being kicked to the curb for a DUI according to an article at the Columbus Dispatch.  As a commentator said yesterday, in each case there is more.  There is always more.  Let's see if we can figure out why Mecklenborg is losing his seat.  This is an excerpt from the Columbus Dispatch article:

The House speaker says a Cincinnati Republican who went through an embarrassing drunken-driving arrest and did not tell leadership about the incident until it became public should resign from his seat soon.

Speaker William G. Batchelder, R-Medina, has said he holds Rep. Robert Mecklenborg in high regard for his legislative work, but he added yesterday: "I don't think he'll come back to the capitol building."

Mecklenborg, 59, was arrested in April in Indiana on a DUI charge by an Indiana state trooper. The three-term lawmaker refused to blow into an alcohol-detection machine, and a dashboard camera video shows him repeatedly telling the trooper that he had not had anything to drink, even as he failed three sobriety tests.  A blood test later registered his blood-alcohol content at 0.097 percent, above the 0.08 percent level at which a driver in Indiana is considered to be drunk - the same as in Ohio. Mecklenborg, who is married, also had a younger female passenger [ a stripper that he took to a local Burger King] in the car, and his blood contained Viagra.

Rep. Robert Mecklenborg
Mike Dittoe, spokesman for Batchelder, said the speaker will continue to work with Mecklenborg on a timeline for his resignation [. . . ] Batchelder said Mecklenborg is getting treatment, but he didn't specify for what purpose.

Earlier yesterday, Ohio Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern called on Mecklenborg to resign, saying he endangered the lives of his female passenger and the public when he drove intoxicated.

"I believe Rep. Mecklenborg showed a disregard for his family and the constituents he is supposed to represent. He failed them. It is time for him to go," Redfern said in a statement.
Robert Mecklenborg, a trial lawyer (which he tells the arresting officer in the video at the link) in addition to being a legislator, climbed out on that whole family values limb.  He was an outspoken advocate of recent (probably unconstitutional) restrictive Ohio abortion legislation.  It's hypocrisy, not alcoholism or drunk driving claiming Mecklenborg's public service career.  One local blogger titles a recent post about Mecklenborg abortion posturing and DUI arrest, "If Fetuses Were Able to Take Strippers to Burger King..." Politically, all sorts of shenanigans can be survived.  Hell, in Louisiana, the 4-term ex-governor and felon, Edwin Edwards is being feted all over Louisiana media.  But you politically can't survive hypocrisy.


  1. I really liked this post. The pics add something special, stripping away pretense of professionalism. The smiling image of Meckelburg was the best. Boozed and viagraed up its so funny. Good article.

  2. Thanks. The DUI cases are important to me. In the Mecklenborg case the dashboard video catches a lying hypocrite in stark detail. He lies about drinking, he tries to beat the field sobriety test, he's sneaky and obnoxious. If he is an alcoholic, it would be interesting to see what he's like after a year of sobriety.

  3. I have just downloaded iStripper, and now I can watch the best virtual strippers on my taskbar.

  4. but refusing to taking it would mean facing serious consequences and suspension of driving license. fine for DWI