Monday, February 27, 2012

Sometimes the best way to step up is to step down

State Representative Daniel Patterson has become the Democratic version of former State Sen. Scott Bundgaard.

Patterson, like Bundgaard before him, has been dogged by rumors and allegations of domestic violence for years, first involving ex-wives and more recently, girlfriends. 

Bundgaard hung on for months but finally gave up his seat when it became clear that the Republican-led Senate Ethics Committee wasn't going to let him slide on his "non-arrest" for an incident by the side of a Phoenix freeway (I may never say anything complimentary about State Sen Ron Gould of "flies a Confederate flag on the 4th of July" fame, but have to give credit where it is due - he didn't let go of this).

Patterson has been accused of domestic violence in the past, first by his ex-wife and now by his girlfriend/campaign manager. (h/t to DA Morales at Three Sonorans; once you get past the over-the-top editorializing, he's spot on).

Like Bundgaard before him, Patterson's first reaction has been to hunker down and hope it will all go away.

Like Bundgaard before him, Patterson has blamed his victim.

Unlike Bundgaard before him, his colleagues aren't joining him in hoping it will all blow over.  Democrats all over the state are calling for Patterson to step down from his position in the House of Representatives.  The chorus isn't just one voice, and it isn't just Joe or Jane Average Democrat calling for his resignation.

House Democratic Leader Rep. Chad Campbell and Luis Heredia, Executive Director of the Arizona Democratic Party have called for Patterson to resign. 

Rep. Katie Hobbs (D) has filed an ethics complaint, signed by 15 other Democratic members of the House, against Patterson over the domestic violence allegations (and I'm proud to say that both of my state reps, Ben Arredondo and Ed Ableser, are among the signers).

My fellow bloggers David Safier (Blog for Arizona) and Eli Blake (Deep Thought) have also called on Patterson to resign, as has the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

It's time to add another voice to the chorus. 

Patterson needs to step up and accept responsibility for his actions and to step down from the legislature and take the time to address the issues in his life.

Maybe that means anger management counseling, maybe it means cranio-rectal dislodgement surgery, maybe it means something else, but for the sake of his constituents, his family, and himself, it's time for Daniel Patterson to step away from public life until he straightens out his private life.

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