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 firstname.lastname@example.org. To receive e-mail notification each time this column is published, sign up at www.poststar.com/alerts.