Tuesday, April 3, 2012
The ethics report calling for the expulsion of Rep. Daniel Patterson has a lot of highlights and lowlights. Here are some of our favorite so far:
Lobbyists generally avoid Rep Patterson because of his reputation for being difficult, unpredictable, combative and untruthful.
Worse yet, lobbyists who dare oppose Rep. Patterson are often harassed to the point of taking great care to avoid him.
And finally, we were told that a lobbyist stated that Rep. Patterson indicated that he would trade his vote on a bill for sex.
On Friends at the Capitol
Over 80 percent of the members, legislative staff, lobbyists and others that we interviewed believe that Rep. Patterson is a serious discredit and threat to the House, its Members, the legislative process, his party and his constituents.
The deep distrust, concern for, and fear of, Rep. Patterson is bipartisan, bicameral, otherwise broad, and is borne of widely experienced incidents of disruption, deceptions, indecorum, and threats that are too frequent and too egregious.
Rep. Patterson routinely verbally abuses, assaults, and harasses his colleagues, legislative staff, and lobbyists—especially if one dares to disagree with him.
Rep. (Anna) Tovar, the Minority Whip, has gone so far as to take notes memorializing Rep. Patterson’s aggressiveness and disorderly behavior that she witnessed.
Rep. Patterson routinely challenges but then ignores admonishment for his behavior and unprofessional outbursts, often retaliating through verbal abuse and, on occasion, has either feigned or actually threatened to physically assault those that did not agree with him.
Rep. Patterson has a legacy of violating and ignoring both the Rules of the House of Representatives... and generally accepted concepts of civility and professionalism.
Rep. Patterson has allegedly violated, and may even continue to violate, court orders.
Rep. Patterson has made false statements as a means to obtain his personal objectives and engaged in a significant pattern of disorderly, indecoruous and disrespectful behavior toward his colleagues, staff members, constituents, and lobbyists - all without remorse or consideration of how his actions may reflect on himself, the House, or others.
Rep. Patterson has engaged in a pattern of dishonesty and untruthfulness beyond tolerable political puffery and more personally sinister than typical political discourse among devoted and head-strong politicials advocating for their positions and for their constituents. Indeed, Rep. Patterson’s misrepresentations have crossed into an area of unabashed dishonesty.
On the Likelihood He Will Change
Over the last several years, Rep. Patterson has been counseled on numerous occasions by House leadership concerning his disruptive, offensive, and deceptive conduct. That conduct is then repeated in spite of that counsel and related discipline. Thus, a minor disciplinary sanction, such as censure or reprimand, will not deter Rep. Patterson from future misconduct.
Unfortunately, we could neither force Rep. Patterson to understand the gravity of this investigation nor persuade him to meaningfully cooperate with our efforts to find and present the facts.
During our investigation, many witnesses were afraid to freely speak with us due to concerns over possible physical, verbal or other retaliation by Rep. Patterson. A number of Members, lobbyists, and legislative staff in particular expressed such concern.
As a result of what she calls Rep. Patterson’s aggressive “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” behavior, Rep. Pancrazi goes out of her way to avoid interactions with Rep. Patterson… In fact, Rep. Pancrazi fears for her safety since the ethics complain was filed and has “made a habit of keeping a weapon near [her] when [she] sleeps and has requested security escort her to her vehicle after hours.
Rep. Patterson has admitted to staff that he frequently uses marijuana. Tellingly, during our truncated interview with him, he refused to answer questions about his "frequent use of marijuana" while steadfastly denying having ever used cocaine, methamphetamine or any other illegal drug.
A roundup of other notable excerpts here.