A Democrat now prominently calling for “civility and respect” in American political discourse may want to go back to October and heed his own advice.
In an op-ed published by The New York Times yesterday, former Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-PA), who served in the House of Representatives from 1985 through 2010, wrote about lawmakers’ security in the wake of the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) in Tucson, Arizona last weekend. In the piece, titled “Why Politicians Need to Stay Out in the Open,” Kanjorski wrote:
We all lose an element of freedom when security considerations distance public officials from the people. Therefore, it is incumbent on all Americans to create an atmosphere of civility and respect in which political discourse can flow freely, without fear of violent confrontation.
But back in October, in the midst of a re-election fight that he would go on to lose, Kanjorski told the editorial board of The Scranton Times-Tribune that Rick Scott, then the Republican nominee for Governor in Florida, should have been shot for his work as CEO of a health care company that paid a record $1.7 billion fine after being investigated for Medicare fraud.
“That Scott down there that’s running for governor of Florida,” Mr. Kanjorski told the Times-Tribune. “Instead of running for governor of Florida, they ought to have him and shoot him. Put him against the wall and shoot him. He stole billions of dollars from the United States government and he’s running for governor of Florida. He’s a millionaire and a billionaire. He’s no hero. He’s a damn crook. It’s just we don’t prosecute big crooks.”
Scott is now the Governor of Florida.
(h/t Washington Examiner)
Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com