Every so often, a story breaks that demonstrates everything that is wrong with American politics. Such is the case with Cortland County (NY) district attorney Mark Suben and the manner in which he lied his way to re-election last week.
According to the Syracuse Post-Standard, Suben was re-elected to his second term as Cortland County district attorney by a 9,815 to 7,507 vote margin over opponent Keith Dayton.
Here’s the hitch, in the last weeks before the election, information surfaced that Suben had acted in pornographic movies in the early 1970’s. Suben categorically denied the information, telling a reporter, “I didn’t make porno movies, That’s a categorical ‘No.’ That’s the truth.”
Nine days later, on November 1st, Suben told a reporter that Dayton or Dayton’s supporters were spreading lies. He again denied the allegation and threatened to sue the newspaper for reporting it.
He further stated, “My response to that is, it is simply not true. I did no such thing. This would cost me the election and ruin my career.”
Yesterday, 10 days after the election, the truth came out of Suben’s mouth for the first time. In a statement from his law office he said, “Recently, materials have been circulated alleging that I was an actor in the adult film industry years ago in New York. Those allegations are true. I was an actor in adult films in the early 1970s.”
Suben went through all the explanations of how he was a struggling, young actor and he did stupid things as a youth…blah, blah, blah. He further stated, “I cannot defend my bad judgment, both my involvement years ago and my denial of it recently.”
But, the kicker is Suben doesn’t have to defend anything. Suben also vowed to continue serving as district attorney.
Suben is the winner here. He got the one thing he wanted, the only thing that mattered to him, being re-elected!
Suben qualifies as this year’s poster boy for all the jokes about lawyers, politicians and the truth. But he doesn’t care. He has four more years in office and that’s all that matters to him. He admitted the same in his November 1st interview.
I promise you this is not a unique event. Similar scenarios played themselves out throughout the country before last week’s elections.
Frankly, it’s our fault as voters for electing clowns like this to office. Too often, the slick campaign mailers and television spots are all that we bother to know about candidates.
We let somebody else do our “research” on candidates for us and buy into it hook, line and sinker. Even when the truth comes out, as it did in Suben’s case, candidates can often spin it long enough to get past election day.
Who cares if the district attorney lied, he got re-elected.
In a state whose politicians are as ‘truth-challenged’ as ours, with our governor serving as Exhibit A and coming up for re-election in 2014, this should be fair warning.
Link to Syracuse Post-Standard story: http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2012/11/for_cortland_da_a_40-year_secr.html