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Ty Hegland , Published August 02 2010

Leaders excuse domestic abuse

For two and half years, I served as a development manager of a local center that protected families of domestic violence. During that period, I sat on numerous domestic violence committees and wore the hat of a parent mediator for individuals in custody disputes. However, nothing impacted me greater than sitting across the table from someone who was recently assaulted by her significant other.

With respect to Rep. Dave Weiler, R-Bismarck, I feel the need to stand up and state that I am stunned

by the lack of action by those in leadership positions of the North Dakota House of Representatives. Though the most recent charges were dismissed, the fact still remains that he has pleaded guilty once to assaulting his wife. Less than 15 months ago, in April 2009, Weiler pleaded guilty to a Class B misdemeanor simple assault upon his wife.

My question to all representatives who have remained silent on this issue is: How many times does an individual need to assault someone before they should be removed from the House?

My question to Rep. Al Carlson, R-Fargo, who is part of the House leadership, is: How many times does such an act need to occur before he will remove Weiler from the House Republican caucus?

My question to all of us is: At what cost to human decency do we allow politics to persist?

Despite the dismissed charges, the fact remains that he has already pleaded guilty once. To sit idly by while he is allowed to continue representing is wrong.

Whether you are a Democrat, Republican or independent, I ask that you stand with me in calling for his removal. At this juncture, it is the right thing to do.

Hegland is the Democratic District 41 candidate for the North Dakota House of Representatives.