Thursday, August 14, 2008

My Bay Windows Column: Wilkerson Must Go

Mike and I penned a Bay Windows column appearing in today's paper, following Tuesday's podcast, asking that Senator Wilkerson do the right thing and step down.
We were told, over and over again, that she could clean up her ways. Even just before this latest deal with the Attorney General, most of us believed it. We gave her second and third chances, only to have our trust betrayed each time, most recently by this latest scandal, one that went on for a stunning five years. Enough is enough. If the senator would like to restore our trust, she should do the right thing and step down. She’ll still have our thanks for her courageous votes, but it’s time for new leadership.
Of course, the odds that Senator Wilkerson will willingly step down are slim. Obviously, our community can’t depend on her to make the right call. If she can’t manage step down on her own accord, leaders in our community and others whom we work with must stop covering for the senator’s bad behavior: it’s a detriment to the entire GLBT and progressive movements, making it appear as though we could care less about the law, so long as we get our votes.
The progressive community must stand for high ethics in this case, lest we be labelled hypocrites. We demand honest and fair government fueled by people-power. It's hard to see where repeated law-breaking public servants fits into the progressive landscape of candidate biography. Certainly, Wilkerson isn't the reformed type - her latest plea deal, for crimes that took place over five years, was only her latest in a long litany of epic misjudgments, crimes and misdemeanors. We must demand more - and, luckily, there's an alternative progressive candidate who offers that in Sonia Change-Diaz.

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