Florida Congressman Urged to Quit After Cocaine Scandal

State’s GOP leaders say Trey Radel should focus on rehab, not politics

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Steve Nesius / Reuters

Congressman Henry "Trey" Radel meets with local media during a news conference at his district office in Cape Coral, Fla., on Nov. 20, 2013.

After pleading guilty to possessing cocaine in a Washington D.C. courtroom last week, Florida House Representative Trey Radel is facing pressure to resign from his Republican colleagues.

According to a report in Politico, Florida’s state party chairman Lenny Curry along with two other top Republican leaders have urged the embattled Congressman to step down and focus on rehabilitation.

“The people of Florida’s 19th Congressional District need a Congressman who is 100% focused on the needs of Southwest Florida,” said Curry in a statement.

Following last week’s trial, Radel announced that he would be taking temporary leave to seek treatment and would be donating his salary to charity during his absence.

MORE: What’s So Bad About Casual Drug Use?

[Politico]

15 comments
flounder9
flounder9

another fine example of why ever person in Congress and the Senate should have to have a mandatory drug test, before any attempt at making laws to test recipients on welfare, Medicaid and such. ...

goerizal
goerizal

if he told the voters he was a user before the election and still got elected anyway - then he has the right to stay put. how would he like marrying a beautiful woman who turned out to be a man at the crucial time? fraud is fraud no matter what. get off the seat - be a man.

evil.aaronm
evil.aaronm

How's that 50 year "War on Drugs" going, eh?  Can we stop the nonsense yet?

mrbomb13
mrbomb13

What the FL Congressman did was wrong, and I'm glad that he took a temporary leave of absence to straighten himself out.

However, I do wonder if TIME would have devoted the same critical coverage if a Democratic Congressman engaged in similar behavior.

mary.waterton
mary.waterton

Here is the fundamental difference between a democrat and a republican:

Republicans are ashamed when one of their own dabbles in drugs, prostitution, homosexuality and other immoral lifestyle choices. But democrats are proud. So proud, in fact, that they work to legalize and normalize these immoral lifestyle habits so their constituents can enjoy them too.

Titanus
Titanus

If he needs rehab he did not just buy his first coke fix so why is he not in prison like so many others?  I thought the GOP was tough on crime.

jaker
jaker

if your doctor were caught buying cocaine from an undercover cop would you go see him. if your doctor were an alcoholic would you go see him? how about your lawyer. how about your airline pilot? the republican party needs to clean up its act and be what it claims to be a family oriented,working class,support your neighbor,work hard party. this guy has poly substance abuse issues and will take yrs to fix. he needs to leave office or im leaving the republican party.

PeterPao
PeterPao

He is a gentleman and scholar. He seemed to be a quite man.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@mrbomb13 See Anthony Weiner for your answer, and unlike Trey Radel what he did wasn't even illegal.

Hermione
Hermione

@mary.waterton 

So in other words, my tax dollars should be used for the sole purpose of monitoring everybody's bedroom business?  Boy, and to think that conservatives always complain about Liberals wanting all this "Nanny government".

Now, who is calling the kettle black?

jpcali
jpcali

@mary.waterton  They're only ashamed because they got caught. They really are the sick puppies that they are.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@mary.waterton 

That would be true if it wasn't for the fact that the dems ask their 'scandalous' critters to leave, while GOP doesn't enforce it. See also Vitter.

We are not proud of anyone doing anything wrong and we even enforce it.

GOPers forgive for the sake of power and tribe. Fix your own party and problems before you try to blame dems for anything. It smells less like rank hypocrisy that way. Or as Jesus probably should say - GOP, heal thyself.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@mantisdragon91 @mrbomb13 

Hmm, can't think of any congress or senate dem that wasn't asked to leave for good right away after a similar 'scandal'.

But that's not the case with 'wingers. Like Vitter and now Sandford. It's always the dems fault, never the 'wingers. Integrity we can believe in.