Political Candidate IS a Crook

With presidential candidates gearing up for next year’s election, Americans are once again being viewed as potential voters. As politicians remember the necessity of being voted into their offices, they dedicate time and energy to reminding us of everything they’ve done in the past-well, everything good they’ve done.

In Brunswick, Maine, one candidate for a local office has a unique background. And, according to the Brunswick Times Record, it’s affecting his progress on the campaign trail.

Matthew Lajoie, a 21-year-old Brunswick resident, has decided to run for the position of Member at Large for his district’s school board. Unlike the three other candidates, though, Lajoie reportedly has 18 criminal convictions on his record – from the past two years.

Reports indicate that Lajoie’s criminal past includes charges of theft by unauthorized taking, theft by receiving stolen property, operating a vehicle with a suspended license, violating terms of release by police, and reckless conduct with a weapon.

The severity of his charges ranges from Class C to Class E, in a system when Class A crimes are most serious and Class E crimes are least serious. Lajoie has paid many fines and spent 100 days in jail, sources say. And the town’s residents are savvy to his criminal past.

While campaigning door-to-door, Lajoie has allegedly been questioned about his motives by residents who know about his criminal convictions. But, according to the Times Record, Lajoie had a turnaround while he was behind bars.

Now, instead of flouting authority and scoffing the law, Lajoie apparently wants to make Brunswick a better town to live in. But will the constituents believe him?

Actually, they might.

The Times Record notes that Lajoie hasn’t been involved in any criminal activity since April, 2006. He’s now reportedly paying the last of his fines and trying to get his act together. Sources indicate that he’s chosen a major in college, begun acting as a role model for his younger siblings, and participated in local governmental organizations.

At a town meeting, according to reports, Lajoie suggested a way to improve plans for building a new elementary school so that the facility would be closer to the majority of its students. He also pointed out that the denser population in that area of town would allow more residents to benefit from the recreational facilities on the school’s campus.

And, as a Brunswick official pointed out to the Times Register, the Constitution does not prevent people with criminal convictions to run for public office. To be eligible for the position Lajoie is seeking, candidates must live in the district, be old enough to vote, and not be employees of the town. None of his convictions ruins his chances.

Some objections to his campaign reportedly stem from the concern that, should he win, Lajoie would indirectly oversee area teachers, whose requirements and background checks are much more rigorous. But, according to the Times Register, Lajoie wants to revamp his life and make positive changes in his town.

Lajoie would not be the first American politician with a past as a crook – but at least he’s not covering anything up.