Now I realize that most politicians in this Congress are nothing better than liars, crooks, and self-centered assholes, but this is the epitome of hypocrisy.   This is a guy who strongly pushed for legislation demanding drug testing for people on welfare and also supported laws that would deny benefits to people with a drug conviction.  Florida Rep. Henry “Trey” Radel has been charged with cocaine possession after what a federal law enforcement official described Tuesday as a “buy and bust” operation.

In a statement expressing regret, the 37-year-old Republican freshman lawmaker said he struggles with alcoholism and intends to seek treatment and counseling.  Yes, let’s try to minimize the situation by claiming that you are an alcoholic, how blatantly irresponsible.  Radel made no mention of his political future but said he had made an “extremely irresponsible choice” and had let down his family and his constituents.

Authorities allege that Radel knowingly possessed cocaine on Oct. 29.  He is scheduled to appear in District of Columbia Superior Court today.

A Drug Enforcement Administration official said Radel bought cocaine from an undercover agent in the city’s Dupont Circle neighborhood on Oct. 29.  Later that night, federal authorities went to his apartment and informed him that he would be facing criminal charges related to his purchase of cocaine.  Anyone else would have been arrested, at that time, but I guess the laws are different for politicians.

In a released statement, Radel said, “In facing this charge, I realize the disappointment my family, friends and constituents must feel. Believe me, I am disappointed in myself, and I stand ready to face the consequences of my actions.  “However, this unfortunate event does have a positive side.  It offers me an opportunity to seek treatment and counseling,” his statement said. “I know I have a problem and will do whatever is necessary to overcome it, hopefully setting an example for others struggling with this disease.”  So, what he is saying is that prison time should not be considered, because I have an illness…what a pompous ass.  Oh, I am so sorry…I forgot about the Lindsey Lohan defense.

The cocaine possession charge, a misdemeanor, carries a statutory maximum of six months in prison and a fine of $1,000.  Radel appears to be the first sitting member of Congress charged with a drug offense since then-Rep. Frederick Richmond, D-N.Y., was convicted in 1982 on charges of tax evasion and drug possession.

Radel, 37, was elected in 2012 to represent the 19th District of Florida, which includes the Gulf Coast communities of Fort Myers and Naples.  He was a radio host before becoming a congressman.  He identifies himself on his Twitter profile as a “Hip Hop conservative” and “lover of liberty.”  Florida Republican Party Chairman Lenny Curry said he was disappointed in Radel but glad that he is seeking help.

Among the bills he’s cosponsored during his freshman term, was to amend the country’s mandatory minimum drug sentencing laws to make them less restrictive.  He co-sponsored the Justice Safety Valve Act, which would provide an exception to mandatory minimum drug sentencing laws to allow shorter sentences for non-violent, low-level offenders.  Now he may get the chance to see how these same exceptions will possibly work in his own personal case, first hand or just maybe he was just looking out for his own best interests.  I am sure that this was not his first time using cocaine.

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