And while Dr. Mendez is under pressure to speak up – here at 7news we like it just fine when politicians play hard to get – that’s what makes news,
after all. But when Mendez joins the ranks of disgraced area representative Elvin Penner as a media dodger, it doesn’t quite put him in the best public
light. Tonight we’ll compare the great escapes of Penner and Mendez:…
Jules Vasquez Reporting….
When you’re a politician, there’s no graceful way to dodge the media – Elvin Penner learned that in March of last year. He appeared with political muscle
to run interference for him, but still had to run the media gauntlet – which turned into the pushing and shoving which the press loves, but only makes
politicians seem guilty in the public eye.
That’s the route Marco Tulio Mendez took yesterday when he got his version of political muscle Sani Baeza to try and block us out – which on this day
backfired and forced a hasty retreat.
But it doesn’t have to be that way – when he was charged for theft, Ralph Fonseca entered with style – it looked like he had a police entourage, and he was
gracious enough to address the media.
And when he was charged for theft Said Musa, always appeared with supporters – not as muscle but as cheerleaders, shoulders to be swept away on.
So we didn’t have to bust through the police escort – because we knew we’d get our interview – or at least a statement.
Much the same for Joe Coye, when he was charged with obtaining property by deception. He didn’t make a big fuss or flash an entourage – and gave the media
a statement after he appeared.
But perhaps no one did it better than Mayor Zenaida Moya – when she was criminally charged – she entered the courthouse cool, without muscle – and left the
courtroom like a fire breathing dragon woman:
Zenaida Moya - Former Bze City Mayor
“I feel it that somebody doesn’t have balls when they are going to come after me, while I’m on my bed delivering a child.”
But while Moya had fire smartly tempered with emotion – these lame ducks ran and dodged,
forgetting what these young turks showed us as far back as 1997 – that the push and pull is part of the political hurly burly – and accused politicians
would be wise to embrace it rather than running away – though the run and hide approach does make for great TV.
One more criminally charged member of the House of Representatives who didn’t make it into the story is Mark King – the UDP member for Lake
Independence. In February of 2013, he was charged for disorderly conduct. He also joined the unhappy bunch of those politicians who had nothing to say
to the media.
And in 2007, then PUP Representative for Toledo West Marcial Mes was charged for drunk driving and knocking down two youths. His attorney was also
Richard Dickie Bradley.
In all of these cases we showed you, the accused representatives, former representatives and the lone Mayor got cleared of all charges – all except
Tulio Mendez and Briceno – whose cases just went to court.
A member of the House of Representatives only has to vacate his or her seat if they are convicted and sentenced to more than 12 months in prison.