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Final Word: Perception of politician's drug problems is all in the presentation

Florida Rep. Henry "Trey" Radel. (AP Photo)

Trey Radel, a first-term tea-party congressman from Florida, has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of cocaine possession.

In late October, the 37-year-old congressman bought a small amount of coke from an undercover police officer and allegedly it wasn't the first time. When federal agents approached him, he dropped the drugs to the street, then agreed to talk to those agents in his home, where they found more cocaine.

Radel issued a statement in which he admitted to having an alcohol problem, on which he blamed his "irresponsible choice." He also apologized. He avoided prison and will instead serve a year of probation.

It should be noted, Radel was a sponsor of legislation to test welfare recipients for drugs before they get benefits.

Hmmm. What about your congressional pay?

I know, Radel and Rob Ford are very different personalities. Rob Ford is brash, rude, overweight and blamed his crack use on "one of his drunken stupors."

He called out his Toronto city council for taking away some of his powers, saying his crack use and references to prostitutes were isolated instances, but his mannerisms and behavior indicated they were anything but.

Doesn't Radel's statement about "the disease of alcoholism" sound better? That, and apologizing to his wife, family, and district, and willingly entering rehab.

My bet is unless Radel screws up again, he'll get re-elected.

It's not whether you have a cocaine problem, it's how you handle it, right?

About the Author

Karie Dozer is host of Arizona's Noon News.

She has been an on-air personality nearly continually since her college days. She loves radio because it is intelligent, immediate and almost always available.

She is the youngest of nine children from a Midwestern Catholic family where she learned to be heard, fight for a place at the table and find humor in almost everything. She was hired as a news intern while a senior at ASU's Cronkite School, and found that covering human stories like the OJ Simpson white Bronco chase and the 1992-93 Phoenix Suns was too much fun to pass up.

She loved life in the newsroom with all the action and crazy personalities to go with it. She anchored and covered some sports too, until politics dragged her away. She served as press secretary for Arizona's Attorney General Grant Woods for a five-year stint before jumping back to radio on a part-time basis. Three years ago she got back in the biz on a more regular basis as a midday host on what is now KTAR News. She has a passion for the breaking news of the moment, education, local politics, great food, sports and fitness. She has trouble turning down a good argument, a good book or a good glass of wine.

In her spare time she takes care of her boys, (husband Rich, son Jack, and yellow lab Buddy,) and bakes awesome chocolate chip cookies. She enjoys the quality of life the Valley offers her family and the natural beauty of Arizona. Her favorite places are golf courses, her own kitchen, the city of Flagstaff, and wherever her family is.

She considers herself lucky to work with the amazingly talented people of KTAR radio.


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