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Gordon defends decision not to disclose his criminal record

September 20, 2011

State Representative Daniel Gordon defends his decision not to disclose his criminal record to voters last year, saying, “That’s something that a candidate doesn’t typically wear on a placard around their neck while campaigning.”

Asked subsequently during an interview whether voters were entitled to that information, Gordon said, “Absolutely, and we’re making that perfectly clear right now. The typical M.O. of a scandal, if you will, when it comes out, the M.O. of the operative is to go underground and let it blow by, because eventually it will go away. That’s what typically happens. However, I’m going to stand right up and own it. I’m doing it right now, telling the voters, this is what it is, this is what happened. This is who I am. It hasn’t affected my ability to legislate or represent folks in any shape or manner, other than the bad optics of it.”

Gordon, a Republican freshman, says he’s received a number of messages this morning, telling him, “Don’t you dare step down.” He says he plans to seek reelection next year to his House seat from Portsmouth.

Resigning, Gordon says, would be a disservice to other veterans who have struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder. Gordon blames his past problems with the law on his “self-medicating” with alcohol in response to the stress of military service with the Marines in Iraq and Kuwait. He says he doesn’t drink any more.

While House Speaker Gordon Fox yesterday called on Gordon to step down following revelations about his criminal record, talk of expelling Gordon from the House through a vote is premature, Fox’s spokesman says.

“Speaker Fox will have to discuss it with his members,” spokesman Larry Berman says.

As Ted Nesi explains, a two-thirds vote of lawmakers can expel a member from either chamber.

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