Konop’s run for mayor would be hypocrisyWritten by Tom Morrissey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Lucas County Commissioner Ben Konop has reaffirmed for the residents of Toledo that he is seriously pondering whether he should join the race for Toledo’s highest office. Mayor Carty Finkbeiner is up for re-election, and the field appears to be wide open with a great opportunity presenting itself to Konop and other mayoral candidates.
“Eschewing the good ol’ boys network and the old way of doing things,” Ben Konop is holding nine meetings with the citizens of Lucas County to give them a voice as he considers a run for mayor.
I support anybody 100 percent who wants to get involved in politics on any level. Toledo and Lucas County need more people willing to take a stand for what they believe in and not afraid to take the step out into the political arena. However, honor, integrity and character still matter in Northwest Ohio.
Among other promises, Konop made two ethics pledges that included serving his full term as Lucas county commissioner. In 2006, Konop promised twice that he would serve the entire four-year term. Unfortunately for Konop’s political aspirations, to keep the promise he made twice, he would not be able to throw his hat into the mayoral race. Konop would have to break his word to the electorate in order to run for the Toledo office.
Konop is well aware of the pledge he made, and it is shameful that he is brazenly marching forward despite ethical questions. In the unlikely event that Konop had forgotten what pledge he signed in 2006, he was reminded of his pledge in September 2008 when he hinted at a run for mayor.
A reporter even asked Konop about the pledge he signed twice and the online petition launched at www.onetermis.notlong.com urging Konop to do the honorable and ethical thing in keeping his word by serving his full term as commissioner. Konop practically shrugged off the importance of keeping his word as he stumbled for an excuse.
What is even more despicable than breaking a pledge he has signed twice is that two of the nine venues Konop is holding events at are senior centers. If any generation understands what old-fashioned values are, such as keeping one’s word, it is the “Greatest Generation” — America’s senior citizens.
With a disgusting level of audacity in demanding ethics for others except himself, Konop is moving forward with his unethical mayoral considerations, advancing his unethical agenda at senior centers. America’s senior citizens have seen it all, and to act as if Toledo’s senior citizens, or any age group in Toledo, do not care about ethics is ignorant, repulsive and disrespectful.
During his campaign for the commissioner’s seat, Konop used the pledges he signed twice to accuse his opponent, George Sarantou, of planning to use the office of commissioner as a springboard to the mayoral office.
Konop issued a press release in May 2006, challenging Sarantou to sign the ethics pledge quoting Edmund Burke in that the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing, while citing various scandals and corruption.
In 2006, Konop clearly felt that Sarantou did not want the office of commissioner solely to serve the residents of Lucas County, and he thought Sarantou would use the office of commissioner to become Toledo Mayor. Now Konop is participating in the same act he saw as utterly deplorable in 2006. Konop’s actions are the epitome of hypocrisy.
Konop’s actions are more than just small ethics violations. While Konop has not committed any crime in breaking his word to the voters, the fact that he is violating his own ethics pledge is unforgivable. There are no such things as small ethics violations, for it is through one’s performance in the little things character and integrity is built. If Konop cannot be trusted to keep his word and finish his term, what can he be trusted with? He certainly cannot be trusted with Toledo’s highest elected office.
If Konop ultimately ends up running for mayor of Toledo and ignores his ethical breach, his actions will be screaming to voters, “I am in this for myself. Broken promises to the electorate do not matter to me.”
Please visit www.onetermis.notlong.com to sign the online petition to urge Ben Konop to honor his word.
Tom Morrissey is a Lucas County resident and lifelong Toledoan.