After getting busted for cocaine possession and doing a stint at an outpatient rehab facility, Southwest Florida congressman Trey Radel is back to work on Capitol Hill as if nothing happened.
Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott, a well-known and often outspoken Republican figure in Radel's district, however, isn't about to let voters forget the incident. Today, he wrote a scathing Facebook message, on his department's official page no less, pointing out Radel isn't even qualified to drive a school bus and proclaiming he'll work tirelessly to ensure Radel does not win re-election.
"While Radel returned to his Congressional office following a microwave stint in rehab and a gaggle of rehearsed apologies, I have hundreds of inmates in our jail that are unable to return to their home due to similar or lesser drug offenses," he writes.
Let's pause for a moment to reflect on the fact that a Republican is lamenting the widespread discrepancies in our criminal justice system, especially when it comes to drug sentencing.
"The sad reality is that Trey Radel does not even qualify to drive a Lee County school bus at this point, yet he occupies a seat in Congress," the sheriff continues. "I have fired Deputies for less, and the brave military personnel potentially affected by a Radel vote would be dishonorably discharged had they done what he did. Surely nobody believes that Trey Radel is the very best that Southwest Florida has to represent us.
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"The depth of his deceit seems bottomless as he expects us to believe that the political cycle just around the corner is the furthest thing from his mind. Then why go through with that fundraiser?" Scott continues, referring to a fundraiser in a ritzy Naples community he attended just days after news of Radel's arrest broke. "Why contact candidate rehabilitation experts during his brief time in rehab? Why not do the honorable thing and step down? The answers are clear to me. Trey Radel hopes the bar and standard in our country has been lowered to the point that he can limbo back into office despite his inexcusable conduct."
Scott has been mentioned as a possible Republican primary challenger to Radel, but the sheriff took the opportunity to announce he's not interested but would be "a staunch advocate for [Radel's] political replacement."
Scott is no stranger to speaking his mind. He last made national headlines for penning a racially tinged letter to the president of Florida Gulf Coast University after students at the school booked critically acclaimed rapper Kendrick Lamar and Ludacris to perform on campus. He also once spurred John McCain's camp to issue a rebuke during the 2008 presidential race after a speech Scott gave at a rally in Lee County in which he referred to Barack Obama by using his middle name, Hussein.