There are growing calls in Southwest Florida for his U.S. Rep., fellow Republican Trey Radel, to resign after he was busted for cocaine possession in Washington. Few of the calls carry the weight and independence, though, of Alan Levine of Naples.
Levine, a hospital executive, held top positions under FL Gov. Jeb Bush and LA Gov. Bobby Jindal and had previously worked in the private sector for now-Gov. Rick Scott's former hospital company. He has no intention of running for office and he wants to stay in the private sector.
But, Levine said on his Facebook page, Radel should consider doing the same thing:
"Trey Radel is my Congressman. I'm so sorry he is having to face the disease of addiction and I truly wish him and his family well on this road to recovery. This having been said, I believe he should resign immediately from the United States Congress. Whether by choice or addiction, he has engaged in behavior that put himself at risk, and legitimately raises questions about his judgment. He is not fit to serve. I'm sure he is an otherwise good man with a wonderful family. He should focus on them and his recovery and not hang on to the office as though it is his entitlement. He would not have been elected had it been known he was using cocaine and was an active alcoholic, and there is no way he can claim entitlement to a seat in the peoples' house when his behavior could compromise his ability to think clearly about what he is doing as a voting member. If he cares about his nation, he will resign now."
Asked about the post, Levine elaborated to The Miami Herald:
"I say it with a heavy heart. Everything I've heard about him is so positive. But the most important thing you are supposed to have in Congress is your judgment. Addiction recovery is a difficult thing that requires pretty intense focus. If he is serious about that, and he should be for his and his family's sake, he really can't serve. Believe me, as someone who supported him, and would again if he did the right thing here, he would be doing himself and his constituents a great service that would indicate his capacity for putting his country first."
"In my opinion, when you are in elected office, you can't put yourself in a compromising position - particularly when you serve on the Foreign Affairs Committee. My views are pretty consistent on this. I may be in the minority, but that's how I feel anyway."
Prior to this, state Sen. John Legg, R-Lutz, tweeted out a comparison between Radel and crack-smoking mayor Rob Ford: "Don't let the problem in Toronto's government repeat itself in Fl. Congressional delegation. It's time step aside & move on. #sayfie"
Then came the Fort Myers News Press: "Radel Must Resign."