Yesterday's lead story in our local newspaper was about a public official who apparently thinks laws don't apply to her. Local news outlets reported that a New Orleans city councilwoman had been stopped on two occasions by state police for speeding, with a flashing blue light on the dashboard of her SUV. On the most recent occasion, the trooper clocked her speed at nearly 100 mph, as she weaved in and out of traffic and drove on the shoulder of the road. When stopped by the state trooper, she yelled at him, "Do you know who I am?", demanded to know why he was stopping her, and told him she was on her way to an important meeting. She also flashed an honorary sheriff's deputy badge (which gives her no authority outside Orleans Parish and, actually, not much within it).
She was not ticketed on either occasion--but the troopers made reports on both incidents, and now the reports have been made public. According to the police, only official law enforcement vehicles, driven by actual law enforcement officers, can use flashing blue lights. Yesterday at the weekly council meeting, the councilwoman involved apologized for the incidents. A former school principal, she said she wanted to set a good example for children. She promised she would not engage in similar behavior in future.
Okay. . . but if she hadn't been outed, would she be feeling this way? Or would she still be arrogantly driving 100 mph with a flashing blue light, weaving in and out and endangering lives as she rushes to her meetings?
She is an example of why the electorate distrusts elected officials--the attitude that she's above the law because she's more important than "the little people."