Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Bad Press we don't need

This story caught me by surprise when I first heard about it a few months back since I knew Mike Flory as an acquaintance from different political events around the state. Flory, a lawyer and former chair of the Michigan Federation of Young Republicans, just pled guilty to sexual battery (rape) and is very likely to end up in prison (could be probation to 5 years in prison).

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer
The former head of the Michigan Federation of Young Republicans admitted today that he sexually abused a colleague during a national convention here last summer.

Michael Flory, a 32-year-old attorney from Jackson, Mich., pleaded guilty to sexual battery on the day he was to stand trial for rape.

The teary-eyed college student he overpowered in a downtown hotel room gasped and dabbed her eyes as Flory replied to Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Peter Corrigan's question, "Are you indeed guilty?"

"Sure - yeah," Flory said.

Corrigan set sentencing for Sept. 13. Flory faces a sentence that ranges from probation to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Flory is also a licensed insurance broker; Corrigan warned him that the guilty plea places both professional licenses in jeopardy of revocation.

Because of the decision made at the convention, Flory may go to prison, may lose his law license, and may lose his insurance license. Was someone passed out or nearly passed out from drinking worth all of that? That is an extremely high price - and what is/was a major felony brings a high price. Tough political future as well (unless your a democrat like Mel Reynlolds and Gerry Studds)

The side effect to this is that we as republicans all look bad from this through guilt by association. Democrats are having a field day on this. Mike Flory is not an elected official, but still this is all over the AP wires and is major regional news in Ohio (where action took place) and Michigan (home state). This does not help our standing with voters.

The lesson we as republicans need to learn is that all the actions we take are magnified in the public eye. It does not matter any more that we are not "big names" - IE Congressmen, senators, RNC chair, etc. We all to some degree represent the party whether we like it or not. That does not mean we always have to follow the company line. I don't. That does mean our character actions however reflect on the party. Politics is so sensationalized these days that anything shady or controversial may become news. That goes from the president all the way down to delegates and activists. I sometimes joke about being somewhat infamous because I'm involved in politics, but I damn well don't want to be infamous for a reason like this.

Eyes are on us, and let's all remember that.

2 comments: said...

I think there's only one lesson in all this.

Don't be a smarmy, rapist, scum of the earth, law-breaking, misogynistic pervert who prays on women.

He's not a Republican or a Democrat or a leader or a lawyer or an insurance broker or whatever, he's a piece of trash sicko who deserves more than he's got coming.

Not that I feel strongly at all.

Hope folks are keeping his victim in their prayers.


Communications guru said...

Actually, he is a leader: the leader of the Michigan Federation of Young Republicans. It’s almost as bad as having a book burner as the adviser of the Teen Age Republicans in Livingston County.