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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Is Sophia Travis acting in bad faith?

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM

In a letter to the editor on April 7, Greg Travis complained about losing his unemployment insurance benefits. In his letter, he wrote about the reason:

I had not attended a mandatory training class in Bloomington and that, until I did, I would receive no more benefits.

I explained this would be difficult as I was out of state searching for employment.

Coming from almost anyone else, this would not have been significant. Coming from Mr. Travis, this is a major political issue for the 2012 election. This is because Mr. Travis' wife, Sophia Travis, is running for an at-large seat on the Monroe County Council. In the comments, someone asked the following question:

If you find a job out of state does that mean your wife won't be running for office?

This is actually a really good question. If Mr. Travis gets a job out of state, will he move to another state? If so, I would assume his spouse (County Council candidate Sophia Travis) would move along with him.

I can hear the wailing now, because I have heard it so many times before. That question and that assumption is "sexist" and that a wife is her own person. But a legitimate concern about a candidate cannot be swept under the rug so easily, because this has absolutely nothing to do with the sex of either of them. The exact same question would be just as relevant if Mr. Travis was running for office and Mrs. Travis admitted in a letter to the editor that she was searching for employment in another state.

After all, a County Council member to resigned from office last November because his wife took a job in another state.

This is 100% relevant to her candidacy and both voters and especially the Republican candidates for County Council need to call her on it. Sophia Travis is running for countywide elective office knowing that there's a very good chance that she will not serve out her term. Why should voters select her in the primary or in the general if she will swiftly move out of the county and be ineligible to serve? She is not acting in good faith and needs to come clean with the voters.

But that is not the only important aspect of this story. In addition to being the spouse of a candidate for County Council, Mr. Travis also serves on the Monroe County Economic Development Commission. What does this say about his confidence in the local economy? Shouldn't members of the EDC be invested in and committed to the local economy, rather than actively seeking to bail out on Monroe County?

Overall, this was a very strange letter to the editor. Why would you admit to seeking employment in another state when your spouse is running for countywide elective office? This isn't a post on a social networking site that someone dug up, or a comment under a pseudonym in the HeraldTimesOnline comment section. This was a letter to the editor! Why would anyone write a letter like that given the position of influence he holds and the position of authority his wife is seeking in the 2012 election?

It is no surprise that the Herald-Times has completely failed in covering this story. Here you have a major issue regarding whether a County Council Candidate is acting in good faith and an Economic Development Commission member admitting a lack of confidence in the local economy. I suspect the H-T has known about this situation for some time and has sat on it. Now that it has been published in the "newspaper" in the form of a letter to the editor, it should be covered.

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