Pittsford, N.Y. -- In the wake of the latest scandal involving Congressman Eric Massa in the 29th district, political science professor Dr. Timothy Kneeland says, there have been too many versions of why Massa is giving up the seat he fought so hard to win.
Dr. Kneeland, of Nazareth College, says not knowing what really happened, causes more concern for voters. They would rather have the truth. Full disclosure is the best Kneeland says, "no lies."
In Massa's case, first we were told he was retiring because of health issues. Then we learned of an ethics investigation into comments he made that lead to a sexual harrassment claim by a staff member. Now we are learning that Massa believes powerful Democrats in Washington pushed him out so they could get the votes they needed to pass healthcare reform.
Kneeland says people realize politicians aren't perfect, but they do demand honesty. He says there is greater scrutiny of elected officials and less tolerance when they aren't upfront about skeletons in their closet.
He says if a politician is honest, people are more forgiving. Kneeland says there is a positive element that comes out of all of this; he says it makes the process more open, more transparent, and it builds faith in the media to uncover the truth when politicians do something wrong.
"Ppoliticians aren't good at policing themselves. If the media doesn't do it, who will?" says Kneeland.
Unlike post-Watergate, he doesn't believe these latest scandals will keep people away from voting. He says they aren't likely to be apathethic as much as they are angry if a politician isn't honest. They demand more from elected officials and put up with less.