Democratic State Sen. Kevin Parker's penchant for erratic behavior has us convinced that he is unfit to serve in the Legislature.
Republican staff member Candace Giove recently revealed via Twitter that a parking placard issued to Parker had been used inappropriately on a car in New York City. Parker's social media response to Giove was nothing short of startling. "Kill yourself!" he wrote.
Parker quickly deleted the message and later apologized for his "poor choice of words" and making light of something as serious as suicide. A day later, however, he argued that the online exchange was nothing more than a "tempest in a teapot" and persisted in attacking Giove as a "Twitter troll" who is "always on the wrong side of history."
Everyone is entitled to lose their temper now and then — and Parker and Giove are about as far apart ideologically as political adversaries can get — but even in the heated atmosphere of New York politics, elected officials are expected to maintain decorum.
And this outburst was far from Parker's first.
He was ordered to take anger management classes after throwing a punch in 2005; in 2008 he was accused of shoving a member of his own staff, knocking her glasses to the floor and smashing them with his foot; he was arrested in 2009 for attacking a news photographer; and he very nearly had to be physically removed from a Senate Finance Committee meeting in 2010 after screaming at Sen. John DeFrancisco over his questioning of a state Power Authority nominee.
Ironically, Parker is the author of a bill that would require police to scrutinize social media and other online activity of people seeking handgun licenses in New York and deny a license to anyone tied to hateful or violent posts.
Incoming Senate majority leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said she was “disappointed” by Parker’s tweet, but that falls short of the reaction that should be taking place this week. Parker has demonstrated time and again that he can't control his anger. Democrats should not only be vocalizing their displeasure with his behavior but pressuring him to resign.
The Citizen editorial board includes publisher Rob Forcey, executive editor Jeremy Boyer and managing editor Mike Dowd.