BYU star offers a lesson in honor to state Legislature

2011-03-06T00:15:00Z BYU star offers a lesson in honor to state Legislature Glens Falls Post-Star
March 06, 2011 12:15 am

There were a couple stories about pledges this week, about keeping your word and doing the right thing.

Brandon Davies, a star basketball player on the Brigham Young basketball team, admitted to his coach that he had premarital sex with his girlfriend. That violated the BYU code of conduct. He told his coach about the violation and he was immediately dismissed from the team.

The university and the player both did what they felt was the right thing.

Last fall, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos signed a pledge sponsored by former New York City Mayor Ed Koch's "New York Uprising" organization that said he would support an independent commission to redraw election districts.

The document read as follows:

"I Dean Skelos pledge that if I am elected to the Legislature of New York State, will support the creation of an independent, non-partisan redistricting commission to draft advisory maps for the Legislature to review and approve. I will vote `no' on any proposal to establish a commission that is not independent as described above."

All of the other Republican senators and Senate candidates signed the pledge as well, including our own Betty Little and Roy McDonald.

This week, Skelos told Koch that he thought a constitutional amendment would be needed, and not legislation. That would delay an independent commission at least until after the next census in 2020.

Koch called Skelos and the Republicans "dishonorable" for going back on their word.

I went on Koch's "New York Uprising" website and looked at the documents that Skelos, Little and McDonald signed. The signatures were there, bold and true.

There were no disclaimers, no "what ifs" attached.

I thought about Brandon Davies, this teenager, and his once-in-a-lifetime chance at a national championship and his decision to admit his guilt and take his punishment.

I'm not naive about New York politics. The Republican senators all signed the pledge last fall to put pressure on the Democrats in power when they refused to support an independent commission. Now the roles are reversed.

I guess the Republicans never figured they would have the opportunity to do the right thing and fix something that has been so wrong for so long.

It's a rare opportunity in life, and even rarer in politics.

The New York Times reported in an editorial this week that 27 of 54 senators reneged on the pledge.

Their signatures, their words meant nothing.

Shouldn't we be able to kick them off the team?

Ken Tingley is editor of The Post-Star and may be reached via e-mail at To receive e-mail notification each time this column is published, sign up at

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(7) Comments

  1. listen2me
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    listen2me - March 07, 2011 6:27 am
    No politicians have any sort of honor code. They lie to get into office and lie to keep their jobs.
  2. oxcart
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    oxcart - March 06, 2011 6:28 pm
    All liars are politicians and all politicians are liars - a zero sum game. KT wastes our time with this comparison of a young student-athlete with a future life and a bunch of untrustworthy old pols trying to maintain power.
  3. ed from long island
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    ed from long island - March 06, 2011 11:33 am
    Its often been said, "There's no honor among thieves." How true, how true. Doesn't matter what side of the aisle they're sitting on.
  4. Bill In Glens Falls
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    Bill In Glens Falls - March 06, 2011 9:50 am
    1. I agree that the Repubicans have vioated a trust.

    2. I just don't get why people thing Brandon Davies did something honorable.

    He broke his school's honor code, and he completely let down his teammates.

    I think it was less "telling" the coach and more "having to tell" the coach.
  5. bill hilly
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    bill hilly - March 06, 2011 9:40 am
    All the more reason to leave Jimmer and BYU out of your commercial. He doesn't need a group of political scavengers hanging onto his honor code. Try upholding one of your own.
  6. brian
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    brian - March 06, 2011 8:20 am
    "I guess the Republicans never figured they would have the opportunity to do the right thing and fix something that has been so wrong for so long."

    Oh they knew very well they were going to reneg (they being in control for so long while that unfair system was erected and maintained), just as the Democrats reneged on reform when they gained control of the chamber. The GOP just figured that in two years, most everyone will have forgotten.
  7. patcher
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    patcher - March 06, 2011 7:44 am
    Comparing the actions of N.Y. politicians to the honor code of BYU is unbelievably naive. What Brendon Davies did was truly honorable, we all know our politicians can't even spell the word no less live up to it's meaning because their all dirt bags to the first degree, ALL OF THEM!


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