Ben Konop Is A Liar

According to this posting from Mr. Konop's own website-

"Here is a copy of the ethics pledge that I signed yesterday and that my opponent refused to sign:
Pledge Of Ethics And Good Government To The Citizens of Lucas County
I will serve the full duration of the term for the office of which I am elected to."

Also this from the same site "Does Mr. Sarantou intend to be a full-time commissioner or will he treat it as a part-time job? Will he pledge to serve the full duration of his term or is he, as Pam Haynam asserts, seeking to use the Commissioner's office as a springboard to run for Mayor?

Any questions class? Will any of the fawning media have the balls to quote him his own words and ask him to explain? I mean besides WSPD.

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Ethics Part II

Here is a copy of the ethics pledge that I signed yesterday and that my opponent refused to sign:

Pledge Of Ethics And Good Government To The Citizens of Lucas County
I pledge to support the establishment of a County Ethics Commission to supplement the state-level Ohio Ethics Commission, following the example of other local governments around the country.I pledge to hold myself to the highest standard of personal conduct and be accountable to the citizens of Lucas County.
I will take personal responsibility for my actions.
I will be open and accessible to members of the public in every community.
I will promptly respond to all inquiries by concerned citizens.
I will serve the full duration of the term for the office of which I am elected to.
I will be a full-time public servant and will accept no outside income while in office.
I support requiring campaign contributors to report county contracts with their campaign contributions.
I support banning campaign contributors from receiving no bid contracts.
I will promptly disclose any legally questionable activities of which I am aware to the Ohio Ethics Commission or other appropriate authorities.
I pledge to hold Lucas County employees and appointees to the highest standard of personal conduct and make them accountable to the citizens of Lucas County.
I will recommend and support appointments to boards and commissions based on knowledge, experience and integrity.
I will not appoint lobbyists to boards and commissions.
I will hire staff based on knowledge, experience, and integrity and not campaign contributions.
I will support requiring boards and commissions to hold regular meetings during evening hours and in different areas of the county, so that working people can attend.
I support requiring ethics training for all Lucas County employees and appointees to boards and commissions.
I pledge to follow the law of the State of Ohio and of the United States of America.

The question I have for my opponent is, what in the pledge does he find so objectionable that we won't join me in coming out strongly in support of good government?

Does Mr. Sarantou intend to be a full-time commissioner or will he treat it as a part-time job? Will he pledge to serve the full duration of his term or is he, as Pam Haynam asserts, seeking to use the Commissioner's office as a springboard to run for Mayor? Has he learned from past mistakes? If he's given another envelope of cash or learns that a colleague is demanding a bribe for a vote, will he report it to the authorities or again choose to look the other way (which, by the way, could potentially cost the taxpayers of Toledo millions of dollars)?
Voters deserve answers. It's past time for Mr. Sarantou to provide them.

Finally, my opponent stated yesterday that he "will sign the code of ethics that the State of Ohio Ethics Commission has which is the recognized law of Ohio." He suggested that "Mr. Konop do the same." Unfortunately, there is no code of ethics promulgated by the Commission for candidates or elected officials to sign. That is why I proposed my code. It's time for a higher standard of accountability. It's time to end the culture of corruption afflicting our community and our state. It's time for a change.

http://benkonop.blogspot.com/2006/05/ethics-part-ii-here-is-copy-of-ethi...

“I will serve the full duration of the term for the office of which I am elected to.”
Strike One!

“I will be a full-time public servant and will accept no outside income while in office.”
Steee-rike Two!

Yes Chris the very same.

Any statement I make is the opinion of me exercising my first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is generally permitted.

is that he seems to be running away from a difficult situation, instead of trying to improve it. Do we want this quality in a mayor?

"Any questions class?"

Yeah, I have a question about the nature of "truth" in general that could be relevant to the news that "Ben Konop is a liar".

If it's true that ""the "truth" is only true to those who deduce it", or to say it another way, "it's not possible for anyone to know for certain that anything is true" because "what's true for you is not necessarily true for me", then what difference does it make that Ben Konop is a liar?

I mean if it's not even possible for anyone to distinguish "true facts" from "false facts", or "true lies from false lies", truth from error, then what  is the point in telling Ben Konop that it's morally wrong to lie? 

...your "authority" as to its truth? That certainly does make life easier. No particular reason to study, just accept what authority offers as truth. We can either posit a First Cause, or Immovable Mover, or whatever we want to show as a supreme being, or not, and still be able to eat our peanut butter sandwiches.

We are dealing here in politics, not morality. You have to remove the incumbent to get your own man in. Then if he turns out to be a liar and a public thief, at least he is your party's liar and public thief.

Old South End Broadway

"We are dealing here in politics, not morality."

Politics is all about people doing whatever they can or think they can get away with in order to get control. So, yes, the reality is that in dealing with politics we have no other reasonable alternative but to also deal with ethics and morality.

In any sort of interaction between human beings, there is always the issue of ethics, morals and behavior. The question is what is/are the standard(s) based on? And whatever that/those standard(s) turn(s) out to be, why should those morals be based on it or them? Are morals objective, or subjective?   Wouldn't it depend on the standard(s)?

That raises the question, "if all truth is subjective in nature, dependent upon each individual's belief based on intuition and feelings, determined by one's culture, then everyone becomes a "law unto himself" and will do what is "right in his own eyes"--which would tear any society apart. It would lead to anarchy.

People would  probably go around in an Art Bell or an Oprah-like way, saying--"you have your truth and I have my truth". "You call it headhunting, I call it feeding my family." "You call it genocide, we call it "the final solution." "You call it God, I call it the guy who's wife constantly nags after a long day at work instead of rubbing my back.."

I think you are right to object to those who "just accept what authority offers as truth". The problem is not THAT they accept authority, since authority is necessary in society. Fathers and mothers are normally considered authorities to their children.  So the problem is WHY people accept authority and how they distinguish between legitmate authority from illegitimate authority.

When you assume there is such a thing as good, then aren't you assuming there is such a thing as evil?

And if you are assuming there is such a thing as evil, aren't you assuming there is such a thing as a moral law on the basis to differentiate between good and evil?

And when you posit the moral law, then you must also posit a moral lawgiver and that's whom you are trying to disprove.

 If there is no moral lawgiver, then there is no moral law to differentiate between good and evil and if there is no way to differentiate between good and evil then good and evil do not exist, i.e. they are merely human conventions.--Ravi Zacharias

...had laws (often based on what they considered "moral")? A Bushman has a culture that allows them to live in peace with their family or tribe. Yet they are unlikely to have a belief in a Supreme Being. Our culture, on the other hand, has a belief in God held in common, and yet S/He does not enter into our daily lives well enough to allow us to live together without a plethora of laws for which we require specialists (lawyers). The laws we have in this country share some commonality with the laws in Iran, and yet there are also stark differences, i.e. temporary marriage. A world of 6 billion people have a plethora of laws (some moral and some "immoral"), and perhaps the Judeo-Christian tradition is the correct one for us all, but I have not come to that conclusion yet.

Old South End Broadway

I think the reason a "bushman has a culture that allows [him] to live in peace with [his] family or tribe", is because they don't have a tax system like ours.

You asked a valid question that I don't mean to trivialize. I don't deny that there seems to be an unsolvable problem here about how the beliefs and values of other cultures fit into the big picture.  Sometimes by temporarily setting aside one problem and working on another problem, the first problem gets answered.  I think your question here is like that.  Here are a few thoughts about your "bushman" question.

Even though the Declaration of Independence is an American document, which is not legally binding, I believe the founding fathers were right to recognize that "these truths are self-evident", that people have "a Creator" who has "endowed them" -- not only with knowledge that they have a "Creator", but also that the Creator is the one who gave them rights which are unalienable.

Where did the founding fathers get that idea if in fact knowledge of a Creator is "self-evident"? If they got it elsewhere, say from another culture, then it cannot be self-evident unless that culture also believed it is self-evident.

So I think that "these self-evident truths" would also apply to the "bushman" and all human beings in other geographic locations--after all the Declaration of Independence is addressed to an individual of another culture. Knowledge of a Creator is inherent to all human beings.

Since human beings are limited to varying degrees, and prone to error, I think it's reasonable that how this self-evident knowledge is understood and applied in any society would also be limited to varying degrees and prone to error, thus explaining why there are so many differences between cultures.

..gods be worshiped in some cultures, and other cultures be monotheistic? And just because these truths are "self-evident" to an Anglo-Saxon culture does not necessarily mean they would be "self-evident" to a person ignorant of them, and thus not "self-evident". After all, Thomas Jefferson, who put these worlds to paper, apparently did not believe that they were "self-evident" to the slaves he kept during his lifetime. After all, what was "self-evident": "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Jefferson wrote these words, and yet could not bring himself to act on them, or perhaps he believed that these "other" beings, in his heart of hearts, had different creators, and could, thus, deny them the rights he received from his Creator.

Old South End Broadway

Jefferson admitted slavery was "cruel" and "against human nature". His position on slavery is consistent with the ideals he set forth for the nation in the Declaration of Independence.

Jefferson also encouraged others to free their slaves. Even though he admitted slavery was wrong, he went against those ideals and his conscience by not freeing his own slaves.

Hilmar Von Campe, who was a former Nazi Hitler Youth and a veteran of the German army during WWWII, said he had to come to terms with what his country had done. After the war, he wondered about the responsibility and the guilt each individual German shared in how it happened. He began by looking at his own role.

Von Campe believes that the U.S. has been heading in the same direction of socialism and totalitarianism--that it will only get worse if Americans do not learn from the Germans of that time. In an artilce he wrote on World Net Daily:

The handling of human nature in organizing power is different from country to country. Because our Founding Fathers understood human nature and the temptation of power, they created a Constitution that took both issues into account – a masterpiece of transferring Christian teachings into the political organization of American society. It is built on the respect for life and for the rights every person has been given by our Creator and not by any government. Its political foundation consists of the separation of power between the three branches of government and depends on truthful and responsible citizen who make it function.

Since Jefferson went against his own conscience, it would mean that each person has an innate sense of what is right and wrong. But how did that knowledge get there? Jefferson believed that human beings were created with that knowledge. If it's there, right and wrong must be self-evident. Morality can be discovered by reason otherwise how could people go against their consciences if it is not there in the first place to go against?

People know in their consciences that certain things are immoral. They don't need to be told. The purpose of the law is to hold people accountable and correct them. This only works if law is based on a legitimate absolute standard. The society is to be a free society, people have the option of violating their consciences and the law of the land.

There's a big difference between looking at Jefferson's slave ownership or Nazi atrocities, and man's inhumaity to man than what we have been discussing--a moral absolute versus moral relativism.

Moral absolutes are true regardless of whether people follow them or not. And if it turns out that they do not follow them, they "suppress the truth" by going against conscience.

For Jefferson, it was a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils. Jefferson knew and recognized that the lesser of two evils is still evil. As evil, it cannot be justified or excused only punished which is also a function of the law.

Regarding the problem of slavery and how to solve it.  Slavery wouldn't have been a relevant problem to try and solve if the country wasn't able to continue. Even if Jefferson could have ended slavery at that time, he realized that it would have meant an end to the United States.

On the issue of how can it be that knowledge of a Creator which some cultures have turned out to be polytheistic, monotheistic, or pantheistic is because human reason is finite. So people have been led to all kinds of speculation going so far as to make themselves out to be God, who have attributed deity to animals and even other human beings.

It shouldn't be surprising why people like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris have given up on the idea of a Creator. I would just like them to at least acknowledge that there position hasn't been able to create its own free country based on anti-theistic laws.  I believe that people such as Dawkins and Harris have also "suppress the truth."  Personally, that doesn't bother me, because in a free society, people should be compelled by evidence rather than by force.

Looking at birds and stars, etc. only reveals so much and reason can only go so far because the revelation is general and the reason is human and therefore finite. Those things only say that there is a Creator but doesn't specifiy who the Creator is, or how many Creators there are, they are vague about about the what sort of Creator he is.

In order to get answers to those questions, it would be necessary to look elsewhere for the specific nature of a Creator.

...immoral." In our culture we (now) view a woman who is raped as a “victim”, but in other cultures she is a viewed as a “stain” upon the family or tribe’s honor. We believe we are acting morally, and those of another culture also believe in the morality of their position. So are we to impute to their so-called belief “hypocrisy” because no people could hold to such a view, and be moral?

One of the effects of “conversion” is to change the belief system of someone else. So that they align their “morality” with ours. For example, what we call the “missionary position” was taught to the South Sea Islanders as the only way to procreate in service to God. Their licentious ways (which our culture has since adopted) were an abomination to God, or at least that is what the missionaries taught them. How we culturally deal with all matter of crime is not how others dealt with it through time or across the globe. We could say that the consciences of the Spartans should have known that many of their cultural behaviours were immoral (raising children to theft and murder before they graduated to warriors). But I cannot believe that such a culture could exist without most of its members going mad if they really acted daily for years against their conscience.

Old South End Broadway

I don't see what the missionary position has anything to do with my response to your question. I don't see how it's relevant with my argument which is:

It would, indeed, be arrogant and ignorant to claim that people cannot be good without belief in God. But that was not the question. The question was: can we be good without God? When we ask that question, we are posing in a provocative way the meta-ethical question of the objectivity of moral values. Are the values we hold dear and guide our lives by mere social conventions akin to driving on the left versus right side of the road or mere expressions of personal preference akin to having a taste for certain foods or not? Or are they valid independently of our apprehension of them, and if so, what is their foundation? Moreover, if morality is just a human convention, then why should we act morally, especially when it conflicts with self-interest? Or are we in some way held accountable for our moral decisions and actions?

Today I want to argue that if God exists, then the objectivity of moral values, moral duties, and moral accountability is secured, but that in the absence of God, that is, if God does not exist, then morality is just a human convention, that is to say, morality is wholly subjective and non-binding. We might act in precisely the same ways that we do in fact act, but in the absence of God, such actions would no longer count as good (or evil), since if God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist. Thus, we cannot truly be good without God. On the other hand, if we do believe that moral values and duties are objective, that provides moral grounds for believing in God. -- William Lane Craig

You said:

But I cannot believe that such a culture could exist without most of its members going mad if they really acted daily for years against their conscience.

That's exactly the point of what I've been saying.  People are in fact "going mad" if they haven't reached that point already, because people do act "against their conscience" on a daily basis over a long period of time.   Societies like that no longer exist because of arbitrary laws based on relativism or the capricious will of some totalitarian dictator.

 

...belief in God? "Can we be good without God"? If there is no belief in this God, and we still do not kill each other, or rob from each other, then I would posit that we can be "good" (at least in refraining from these "bad" things) without God. As for being "good" without God, or in spite of Him (remember he commanded the Israelites to go across the Jordan River, and possess the land by slaying all who would protect their homeland), there are those in the science of ethnology who claim that altruistic behavior is in the genes. That an animal will give up his/her life for siblings. That this indicates an unconscious calculation that by giving its life it's increasing the probability that genes it shares with siblings will be passed on, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altruism_in_animals.

Further, if evolution is a true fact (and I know there are many who prefer the fact that God created the universe in seven days), then perhaps what we call a "conscience" is the result of this evolution. If this is so then what we refer to as the "conscience" might yet evolve further. If "conscience" is one of the results of evolution then I would posit that there is no absolute of what is right or what is wrong, but what has evolved through "survival of the nicest" and through changes in culture. What you propose as "going mad" could as well be changes in culture. Unfortunately, many of the changes in culture are done in the "hothouse" of politics. I, for one, despair that funds to help young mothers with their illegitimate children have now entered a third generation. What started as a noble effort has degenerated into a system that is doing great harm to both individuals, and putting its roots into our culture.

Old South End Broadway

How is Ben going to respond to WSPD's questions if he's banned from WSPD?

There's a city full of walls you can post complaints at

Carty finds a way.

MikeyA

How can Commi. Konop be banned from WSPD when he's been repeatedly invited on numerous occaision? Tonight was one of them.

I pointed out Konop breaking his word in a letter to the Free Press and launched an online petition last summer when he was hinting at this.

Feel free to sign at www.onetermis.notlong.com

Pointing out how he's all about CHANGE, when the only reason he's in office is thru nepotism.

How does continuing the regime of the Isenberg family have anything to do with CHANGE?

Didnt Auntie Sandy get into some hot water about a roof?

Some of the folks responding seemed shocked that Konop might find himself in a state of prevarication. Their comments carry a deserved tone of moral indignation, but I ask: when is the last time we had an honest politican?

Better yet, can a politician actually tell the truth? Most voters prefer politicians who tell them what they want to hear, or (more importantly) who don't tell them what they don't want to hear. Can you imagine a politician this year running for office saying that government services will have to be cut, unemployment will continue to skyrocket, and people need to prepare for some serious lifestyle cutbacks? Such pols would be lucky to get the votes of their own mothers.

Anyways, Ben's political error here was in promoting himself as a different sort of politician, while leaving printed and virtual evidence all over the place of his pledges and promises. Note to Ben: next time just say this stuff in campaign speeches - it will be less likely to bite you in the future. Pompous promises about serving full terms sound pretty silly when juxtaposed against his "exploratory" mayoral campaign tour this week.

While I am no Konopophile, life for me is less stressful when I asume that half of the commentary from a politician is a stinking sack of lies and platitudes. That way, when a pol comes along who is more honest than the rest, I am pleasantly surprised and gratified.

was that ethics pledge. of course nobody else would sign it. it was naive.

what has the local republicans so enraged—HE'S A LIAR, WAHHHH—is knowing the rest of the city doesn't care about some stupid ethics pledge.

most of toledo will be looking at konop's name on a ballot and all that will come to mind are his moments in the blade, supporting the little guy, struggling against "good old boys network", etc. as somewhat of an underdog.

regardless, he's not my choice for mayor. at least, not as of today.

'what has the local republicans so enraged—HE'S A LIAR, WAHHHH—is knowing the rest of the city doesn't care about some stupid ethics pledge'.

Hammer strikes nail.

What concerns me isn't "lieing". It's that he made a commitment to people in the county and he's failing on that commitment.

While I'm a Republican I'm not a Ben Konop hater. He's one of the few Dems in NW Ohio I can respect. However I don't think he has a new idea that can actually make a difference.

I think he has many little ideas that don't make the area seem so bad but not help in the way the area needs it.

He has not proven himself to be strong enough county commissioner to be close to being a moderate strength mayor.

If he can't get two members of his own party to respect him in a room of just 3 how will he do when he's got city council with Dems and Repub?

MikeyA

someone who wants to emulate China. He's the perfect pol, to further one-party rule ( feudal lord system) in Toledo / Lucas county. So what if he's a liar ? Bill Clinton, lied so much, radical leftist commentators, COMPLIMENTED him for it ! That, along with 72 % of B.O., voters believing the R's, controlled Congress... you certainly DO NOT, have to be an Edison, to fool most of the ignorant left. Ask Carlton, he made you folks look BRILLIANT !!

that Ben also needs to adhere to. I would call this strike 3 since he was busted driving without car insurance back in 2007. I do believe that it is the law of Ohio that you must carry insurance or face a mandatory 90 day suspension.
http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071213/NEWS33/71...
."I pledge to hold myself to the highest standard of personal conduct and be accountable to the citizens of Lucas County.
I will promptly disclose any legally questionable activities of which I am aware to the Ohio Ethics Commission or other appropriate authorities.
I pledge to follow the law of the State of Ohio and of the United States of America."

...but this link, http://www.bmv.ohio.gov/financial_responsibility/fr_requirements.htm#Fin... Responsibility Violator Penalties, indicates there are forms of "financial responsibility" other than auto insurance that can be used. Though it seems that auto insurance is the easiest.

Old South End Broadway

I think we're taking his 'promise' too literally.

His pledge is that he promised to be a full time commissioner and not accept other work. He wanted to infer to the voters that he will focus on his duties as a commissioner and not let outside employment get in the way of his duties. He was saying that he has one job - the commissioner job - and one job only.

It's 'semantics' He's 'steering' this broken pledge of his to the monetary side and saying that since he's not accepting money, his 'promise' is still valid. He's 're-directing' what is important here - the fact that he promised to be a full time commissioner and nothing else! I don't give a rat's butt whether he makes $1M or $100. He has outside employment and this is not in the spirit of his pledge!

Slick Willy, step aside for Slick Benny!

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