Isn’t it important to fully vet the people we are voting for? As true as that statement is, sometimes in that process you get more than you asked for. Since my own personal informant sent me some documents on Wylie City Council Candidate Nathan Scott, I have had to do a little soul searching. Do I personally want Catherine Butschek to win over Nathan Scott because she is the better candidate so I would stoop so low as to report an individual’s arrest record? Or do I support her because I feel vehemently about a family violence arrest and I feel the public would feel the same way also? I really had to assess that statement and I believe I released those documents because the public has the right to know so they make an informed decision at the polls. Upon further introspection, I am not the one who did something wrong and the arrest is not a reflection upon me, it is a reflection upon Mr. Scott. I believe in my heart of hearts that the majority of citizens in Wylie will agree with me that they have a right to know this information before they set out to vote for city council in May.
That said, I realize nobody is perfect. There are some issues in the vetting process of a candidate I can overlook and some things that I simply cannot ignore. Traffic tickets, awe shucks no biggie. Who doesn’t have lead foot at times? Who doesn’t forget to get their car inspected at least once? People can have financial issues and credit problems any time in their life, even more so now in this new economy we are forced to get used to. Small and large catastrophes happen and I cannot fault anyone for those. Really, who doesn’t make a mistake or two in this game called life?
I realize there are also some people who are predestined to have some really bad karma. The ever present Job in them just brings one comedy of errors after another. Honestly, I don’t fault them either. I do however have to apply some thought processes to larger problems that people bring upon themselves for lack of good judgment. Is one arrest record a big deal when it only resulted in a misdemeanor? I guess it depends on what the arrest was for. Is being arrested for family violence only once such a bad thing because it has not been repeated? I would say that nobody deserves to have a hand raised to them; not the gay man leaving a bar, not a child whining in the store, and not the moron at the baseball game who keeps razzing your team. Nobody.
Conversely, just because an arrest for family violence did not result in a felony, does that make it OK then? Is it just a little hiccup that should be overlooked? No, I think it just makes it a first offense and when I apply my personal pinch factor to it, it is not something I can personally ignore. These are some really big questions I have to ask myself and ask my readers to consider. Every woman I have talked to so far about Nathan Scott’s arrest for family violence has agreed that this is not someone they can support because that one incident alone is unacceptable.
I have talked to a lot of women through the years and surprisingly, women are very willing to talk about past abuse and their abusers. It happens far more than anyone cares to recognize. I am guilty of unfairly applying my own standards and prejudices to others situations. I admit that I’ve looked at women who are living in a shelter with their kids and it is difficult not to want to assign blame to them for the choices they made that ultimately landed them there. We are all only human.
As I’ve talked to some of the men I know about this family violence incident in Nathan Scott’s past, I have been shocked at a few of the responses. I can't believe that despite knowing this information, some of the men I've talked to actually sympathize with him and still want to meet him and hear his platform anyway. I am absolutely flabbergasted and to be brutally honest, as a woman I find that stance highly insulting. He caused bodily harm to an individual in his house and was arrested for it. He doesn’t get a second look from me. On top of that, he has another child that he has not recognized on his website and it appears from the Denton County Court records that he has attempted to flee from his responsibility to that child, because his wages were garnished for child support. When I couple this incident with the family violence arrest, I have completely written him off. As a woman, I find both of those offenses inexcusable.
Most of the men I’ve talked to think that any man that hits his wife or others out of anger is a coward. Yet some men state that they can see how it could happen. They can see how a man could just snap. OK, I know women can be absolutely overbearing bitches at times, but I still don’t think that gives anyone an excuse to hit. I always tell the story of a young couple shopping at Target and she told her husband to go pick up some cheese and he came back with Swiss cheese, and she started yelling at him and insulting him even calling him stupid. Over cheese? Really? I wanted to slap the bitch myself, but you know what? You just don’t do it. That little thing called a conscience is supposed to stop you from doing that. Personally I walk away and shake it off. That is exactly what that husband did too. He walked away.
Do I think a gay man should be beat up because he mistakenly hit on a straight man at a bar? Do I think the ass-clown at the game needs a sucker punch because he is insulting all the fans sitting around him in the stands? Do I think a child needs to be beat for breaking an antique urn? Do I think a woman needs to be slapped for making a mistake no matter how large or small? In a word, no. Nobody deserves to be a punching bag.
So I am utterly dumbfounded at the statement from these men who sympathetically say they can see a man snap. As women who bear children and raise them, there are moments of complete despair when an infant is screaming and crying and nothing we do consoles them and in that split second we just want it to stop, but our brain says walk away. Do men have a shorter snapping point? I like to hope not, but those that I talked to seem to have greater sympathy for those who have snapped. As a woman, I simply cannot accept that. I will not accept it from a woman who kills her kids in that split second insanity and I will not accept it from a man who harms another.
If a person has a teensy brush with the law, it doesn’t prove anything. One incident is not a series of incidents make. A ticket or two doesn’t really prove irresponsibility. It proves we are human. So what is my point in this blog post then? Why is this assault thing such a sticking point?
What makes me question responsibility and is worth another look at an individual are worse offenses or combinations of legal brushstrokes over time. Worse issues are especially telling because they show a person’s true colors when nobody is looking. It is especially telling when there is a history of various legal problems that fit together and form a pattern. I see a pattern in Mr. Scott’s past and though I feel for his plight and I see he wants to improve his position, I personally don’t see that he is a good fit for our council needs at the moment. I think he needs more time to get his own life in order before he attempts to sort out Wylie’s citizens’ lives.
As you can see, had my informant not contacted me with this information, probably nobody would have known about it. Normally I don’t go out seeking information on people. I don’t care to be intrusive, though it would be nothing to hire a private investigator and pay them in cash so as not to have it traced back. Gee, I’ve heard that’s been done before and others in the city may do that but that’s just not how I personally roll. Had this information not been emailed to me, I most certainly never would have thought to go seek it out. My reason for that is because everyone has a couple skeletons in their closet. To be fair to Mr. Scott, when I was on the Collin County Court website I checked out the names of all council members, candidates, and a few other city officials. Several people had a few things but really, there was nothing that caused me great concern. Well, except for those detailed in this blog post. I could no longer ignore this issue which was placed on my virtual doorstep, though I tried to for a few days. I could no longer ignore it because I felt it was a disservice to the citizens of Wylie for me to hold the key to some information that has the potential to change their support and ultimately their vote. It would have changed my support of a candidate no matter who that candidate was.
The City of Wylie does not need any more controversy. We have had white powder delivered to the schools, beating death trials, a man murdered in his house, a police officer accused of child pornography, and two city employees resign over pornographic photos. Honestly, we need don’t need another controversy. Is Catherine Butschek a perfect being and the most ideal candidate for that seat against Nathan Scott? No, but I have fully vetted her and find that she has some ideas in which I can support and she does not have any legal records that cause me concern. I also recognize that she will be one of 7 should she make it on council and if I don’t like her then, next year there will be 2 more seats up for election.
I know that there will be some people who simply no vote that seat because they would rather not deal with it, but they must remember that a no vote is a yes vote because they are handing their decision over to the will of others. Allowing others to make that decision for you is a cop out.