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Pawnbrokers Stained by Cohen

The Illinois Democratic Party is not the only statewide organization trying to step out of the cloud that hung over Scott Lee Cohen’s exit as the party’s nominee for lieutenant governor — the Illinois Pawnbrokers Association is trying to save face, too. … Cohen converted instantly from the pride of his industry to a public embarrassment for it when a former prostitute said that he had held a knife to her throat during an argument when the two were dating in 2005.

I don’t know if I agree with this line of reasoning

Wieners Circle Rages at the Dying of the Light

Illinois is no stranger to odd, larcenous or rough-and-tumble elections. But only here, it seems, has a candidate collapsed so ingloriously that he brought dishonor on what many consider a shame-proof industry: pawnbroking.

The Illinois Democratic Party is not the only statewide organization trying to step out of the cloud that hung over Scott Lee Cohen’s exit as the party’s nominee for lieutenant governor — the Illinois Pawnbrokers Association is trying to save face, too.

Mr. Cohen, the state’s first pawnbroker politician, managed to leave a blot on the ledger of an industry that could do without the extra stain. Mr. Cohen converted instantly from the pride of his industry to a public embarrassment for it when a former prostitute said that he had held a knife to her throat during an argument when the two were dating in 2005.

David Schoeneman, president of the Illinois Pawnbrokers Association and owner of Shane’s-The Pawn Shop in Chicago Heights, this week found himself sharing the same defensive crouch taken by distressed Democratic Party leaders once the abuse accusation surfaced.

“When somebody gets caught being a bad guy, you cringe,” Mr. Schoeneman said. “Same for doctors, lawyers, priests. People are people.”

[Click to continue reading Chicago News Cooperative – The Chicago Way – Ex-Nominee’s Troubles Stain Pawnbrokers – NYTimes.com]

If the actions of one disgraced politician besmirched the entire profession the politician came from, we would have exiled all the lawyers in the country. I think the (former or current, depending) occupation of a politician is less important than that. Political party affiliation is arguably more important to the equation.

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