Today the main cheerleader for the idea that David Gantt should appoint Monroe County's Public Defender editorializes that candidates for county office should state their position on the process. Thus the D&C serves notice on county legislative candidates that this will be part of their endorsement interviews.
Every Republican County Legislator and candidate should answer: "I will support and apply the law."
You see, the law requires that the PD be appointed by the County Legislature. That's it.
The Democratic-Media Complex doesn't like Republican bodies making public policy decisions.   That's OK for public bodies run by Democrats. But Republican bodies are supposed to share decision-making with Democratic constituencies. "What's ours is ours. What's yours is up for grabs."
Today the D&C repeats its contemptible lie from 2008, that Republicans overturned the established process for chosing the PD and did something different that year. A point-for-point inversion of the truth: in 2008 Republicans made no change in the law governing appointment of the Defender.
What upset the newspaper and Gantt was that, back in the 1970s, the then-legislature acquiesced to an elaborate extra-legal contrivance giving Assemblyman-for-Life Gantt, his hangers-on and self-appointed "community leaders" a substantial influence over the selection. That was a change to the lawful process.
The PD appointed in the late 70s stayed on until 2008. That's when the issue came up again, and the legislature rightly insisted on fulfilling its legal responsibility.
It was that insistence on respecting lawful established process that outraged the likes of Gantt,the D&C and other enemies of the people.
Although Republicans got the policy choice right in 2008, they then completely abdicated leadership on the issue. It represents the most shameful episode in the history of the Republican majority in the County Legislature.
As local media spun a false narrative -- that the GOP was usurping a prescribed method for selecting the PD -- Republicans in the County Legislature remained silent and passive, incurring damaging negative publicity. They had the facts on their side as well as the law. Yet the public only heard from crazies like Gantt and the others who disrupted legislative meetings. For reasons still unexplained, the Republicans nearly undermined their own cause and the principle of the rule of law, by saying nothing.
Republican Legislators and candidates: You can atone for the GOP's cowardly performance in 2008. Stand tall when D&C functionaries bully you in endorsement interviews.
"I will support and apply the law."Of course you can solicit public input, hold public hearings and ask for the view of law-related organizations. But they're not charged with responsibility for making the decision. You are.
Your duty is to do the right thing, even if that brings some controversy. If you don't see it that way, then what the hell are you doing in public office?
Experience the exhilaration of standing tall in a blizzard of lies, armed with the truth, being in the right and fighting for it. That's what leadership and integrity in public office are about.