3/22/2010 11:08 AM
Over the weekend, Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) was arrested and told the Statesman he was booked for DWI. This was -- admittedly -- a busy news weekend. The story appeared on the front of Sunday's city-state section below the fold. Click here to read the story.
In May 2008, Rep. Mike Krusee (R-Round Rock) was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. Charges were later dropped. But not until Krusee was the subject of three articles in the Austin American-Statesman, including one published Feb. 1 on politicians refusing breath tests, that the archive shows as appearing on page A1. Former Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos (D-Austin) also pled no-contest to DWI in 2001, which later became the subject of his opponent's attack ads in Barrientos's successful 2002 re-election campaign.
Some of our Republican readers may wonder how the coverage afforded to the three incidents compares. So far, the Rodriguez incident has received similar coverage to a similar incident committed by a Republican elected official. Stories also appeared in the Krusee case when he was charged, and the feature piece I mentioned above, but the Rodriguez case has not progressed that far yet. Barrientos got more press than either the Krusee or Rodriguez incidents but that was largely because his opponent ran TV ads showing the video from the police car -- depicting the administration of a field sobriety test to Barrientos.