After-hours drinking not a problem

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, February 25, 2005

Since the Empire has published what I consider unfair critical comment on the issue of legislators use of alcohol after hours and on weekends in their offices at the state Capital, I offer a few observations from a different point of view.

I regret Mr. Bussard was fired. But he did violate his employment contract. As for the letter published in the Empire making the Chicken Little cry that now other security guards will turn their heads from other suspected misconduct, nonsense. At the end of every shift, security guards have the opportunity to file a written report to their supervisor who then has the proper means to pursue the matter.

It seems a bit of perspective is needed. In the entire civilized world, executives are by custom allowed the practice of keeping alcohol for use at their office. It is not the use of alcohol that should be the cause of concern; it is the abuse of alcohol. In the present case, no one has alleged such conduct. And to compare, in the Empire, the use by some legislators of alcohol in their office after hours and on weekends rises to the level of misconduct as if it were done by on-duty police officers, on-duty doctors, and on-duty prison guards, is hypocrisy and intellectually dishonest. And to reply to a question offered by a correspondent to your letters to the editor asking "where is that line between acceptable and unacceptable behavior?", I suggest he ask Mr. Bussard. He at least now knows one answer. And as some of you are dissembling your opposition to all use of alcohol, stand in the open and make your case. As for my position, drink up ladies and gentlemen of the legislation, and I am ready to stand the next round.

Andy Pope


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