...And the Truth Could Make Him FreeMike Faulk issued a statement Friday regarding claims that he has had an affair with a married woman on the campaign trail:
“Kelli is going through some very serious personal issues at this time.
I have deep regret for whatever part her association with me and my campaign may have played in those problems. I wish nothing but the best for her. She is a special person to me.
"Serious personal issues" is a major understatement. These issues are ones which Mike Faulk apparently had a role in creating. I don't often see eye to eye with Angelia of Rogersville on State and local political affairs (though I think she is a fine writer and I enjoy her sense of humor), but on the point of how Mike Faulk should handle this situation, she is right on the money:
See, despite our tendency to act as though we own the moral high road, we
do understand life is messy, unexpected, has jagged edges, people screw-up, make
bad decisions and chances are we’ll all be caught at least once with our ass in
a sling, hand in the cookie jar, skirt-tail in our pantyhose, husband in the
flophouse with his mistress… or mister, our kid in the jail or we might get
lucky - and just die without our good underwear on. That’s life. In life, sh-t
So, you clean it up, apologize for the smell and keep moving on. And we’re
fine with that.
I might have stated it quite a bit differently, but Angelia's basic point is that if Mike would swallow his pride and own up to his end of this completely-it takes two to tango-he might be able to survive the political storm that has resulted in part from his apparent wrongful actions. Folks aren't looking to hang Mike Faulk from a tree-I'm certainly not. What people want is an acknowledgement of the wrong and some real contrition, especially since Ms. Walker has already done her part in that department.
The Faulk camp is not only failing to do the right thing by acknowledging the relationship when nearly everyone now knows that it is factual, Mike isn't capitalizing on the reality that by doing so he could put it behind him in enough time to save his campaign. One has to wonder if Mike knows that what I've just written here is true, but Faulk's campaign folks are giving him not-so-great advice on how to handle the affair.
Mike: How about just doing the right thing, brother? The truth shall make you free.
As for Governor Ramsey and how he is dealing with this, I mean in no way to make excuses when I write that Ron Ramsey is between a rock and a hard place. I would be willing to wager a million dollars-if I had it to wager-that Ramsey and Faulk have met and discussed this, and that Ramsey privately expressed his displeasure in no uncertain terms. I'd be willing to hazard an educated guess that those fundraisers for Mike Faulk that are already scheduled will go on, but no further major fundraisers that are not already in the offing will move forward unless the poll numbers show that this story will have no impact on the electorate-and that isn't very likely.
However, Ramsey's hard place isn't just that Faulk is the Republican nominee in this race, it is that he cannot endorse Mike Williams. There are many reasons for this, not the least of which is that Williams isn't exactly the paragon of virtue himself. Beyond that, a number of legislators will tell you, when the subject of Williams comes up, that he really is crazy. He does a wonderful job of relating to constituents back home at election time, but many of his collegues believe that he is gone in the head. One legislator told me "I don't know what we are going to do now, because Williams really is a loon," and the legislator in question doesn't owe Ron Ramsey anything.
As a result, Mike Faulk may inadvertantly be sentencing the 4th District to four more years of embarrassment. It remains to be seen whether a Faulk admission of guilt at this point would be enough to save his campaign...it would have been better to tell all last week. However, coming forward with the whole truth may be Faulk's only hope of saving his campaign.