03/21/08 — The Wright vote: It might not be over yet, but action was correct

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The Wright vote: It might not be over yet, but action was correct

You never know what legislators will do when faced with the task of disciplining one of their own.

So, it came as a welcome surprise Thursday that the N.C. Legislature voted by so overwhelming a margin to expel embattled state representative Thomas Wright. And they did not fool around, either. The debate lasted less than two hours and votes to sanction the lawmaker were filed quickly.

And it was absolutely the right decision.

North Carolina politics has already been too tainted with less than honorable politicians. It seemed for a while that there wasn’t going to be a week that went by without some other disappointing news about another ethics violation.

Wright’s protestations of innocence and his determination to prove that he did nothing wrong in appropriating funds for himself to “cover his expenses” associated with a non-profit organization are not enough.

There are just too many people who agree that his actions were inappropriate and his response, less than honorable.

The unfortunate fact in this case is that Wright is still on the ballot for re-election to his district. If he wins in May and November, he can legally head back onto the floor.

Let’s hope his constituents instruct him to do otherwise.

The time has come for some aggressive action when it comes to ethics and the North Carolina legislature.

The Wright vote sent a message.

Hopefully, it left an impression.

Published in Editorials on March 21, 2008 11:30 AM