I am following—with barley disguised amusement—the trails and tribulations of Connecticut Republican governor John G. Rowland who is under investigation for accepting gifts from friends, state contractors and employees, for favors, and then—and here a shocker—lying about it. I say amusement because the Republican Party is the self proclaimed Party of integrity and honor. Question is, where is Rowland’s, and better still, where is Bush/Cheney’s?
The investigation by a Connecticut Bi-partisan legislative committee convened to consider impeaching Rowland; the three-term governor is also under investigation from the Justice Department federal for corruption. Rowland claims he has provided nothing in return for the gifts and has not compromised his office, but the evidence thus far speaks otherwise.
In the latest volley in this debacle in which the embattled governor refuses to step down, and unsurprisingly refuses to admit any wrong–doing despite the fact that he has admitted to lying, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled Friday that Gov. John G. Rowland must testify before a committee considering his impeachment. The ruling—a 5-2 decision—makes Rowland the first sitting chief executive in U.S. history ordered to appear before a legislative body. How fitting that the distinction should go to a Republican. The Connecticut Supreme Court in its decision ruled that Rowland must testify before the committee investigating his wrong doings, setting aside the governor arguments that the Connecticut Legislature was violating the constitutionally mandated and historical separation of powers.
I have never believed that a chief executive should be immune to the oversight authority of the legislative branch of government, they are after all the people’s representatives, and our chief executives are not Kings and Queens. What I find onerous is the arrogance of the man in refusing to step aside for the good of his state. But like the Republican administration currently occupying the White House, Rowland refuses to admit that he could have done something wrong; you know made a mistake. There is no disgrace in graceful disengagement after having the integrity to admit a mistake. However, special derision should be reserved for those who refuse to see the error of their ways and put the good of the people before their own selfish, blind ambitions. I hope enough of use remember that come November and replace the man who can do no wrong in the White House.