Monday, November 26, 2012

Newly-Elected Democratic Transgender Legislator Hid Criminal Past

The historic election of the first openly transgender candidate to a state representative seat in the New Hampshire House has taken an odd twist after news reports following the election uncovered the fact that Stacie Laughton, formerly known as Barry Charles Laughton, Jr. prior to her transition to becoming a woman, was a married man with a serious criminal record. According to the Daily Caller, a local newspaper, The Laconia Daily Sun, revealed over the weekend that Laughton had a prior felony conviction for credit card fraud and several other criminal convictions.

Laughton and her former wife used the identity of another woman living in their public housing project to take out a credit card, which they used fraudulently to purchase electronics and pay bills. Laughton pleaded guilty in 2008 to the three felonies associated with the scam. Laughton served four and a half months of a 12-month sentence in a county jail.

In another case, Laughton and her ex-wife faked a 911 emergency call in order to get an ambulance ride home from a fireworks show. The Laughtons admitted to their ruse after being transported to a local hospital. The couple then stiffed a cab driver who gave them a ride home after the ER doctor refused to treat them. Laughton pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft, but the county prosecutor refused to prosecute the felony false-reporting charge. According to a police report, when police officers arrived at the Laughton's home to arrest them, Barry Laughton told the police that Laconia District Court Judge David O. Huot would "laugh the charges out of court" and "there was nothing the city police could do about it." Hout, coincidentally, was elected to the state legislature as a Democrat this past election as well.

What is extraordinary about this story is that during the election the media buzz was all about the historic nature of Laughton's candidacy and what it would mean for transgender persons. Not a single media report looked into Laughton's pre-op past and nobody else raised questions about it. According to the Nashua Telegraph, Laughton had run for office numerous times in the past as Barry Laughton before transitioning to a female. I thought New Hampshire was such a small state that everyone knows everyone else's business. Perhaps Bobby Hidalgo Kern should have moved to New Hampshire to run for office as a Democratic candidate instead of the multiple campaign attempts he's made in Indiana. Laughton told a reporter she had expected her criminal past to come up during the campaign and was prepared to discuss it when it did. “I didn’t feel it was necessary to tell [constituents], but I felt like if it came to light – which it has – I was going to be honest,” Laughton told Nashua Patch after the story broke. “I was prepared for it to come out during the campaign. I don’t want to step down; I want to serve the people – that’s all I’ve wanted to do, and regardless of my past, I can do it and serve them.”

The outgoing Republican leader of the House of Representatives has called on Laugthon to resign, but she has no plans to do so. "I know we live in a society where they say once you’re a felon and shouldn’t be able to work here, or there," Laughton said. "But people get out of jail, every day, and we spend so much to rehabilitate them. I just want to prove myself.” It seems to me that Laughton would have been up front with voters about her criminal past if she truly has rehabilitated herself; otherwise, it appears her transition from a man to a woman was nothing more than a scam to hide her past. Democratic leaders have remained silent about the revelations, which they presumably knew about prior to the election but chose to keep quiet in order to reach their goal of taking control of the House of Representatives, which they achieved on election day. The Democratic State Party Chairman, though, has accused House Majority Leader Pete Silva of playing politics for asking for Laughton's resignation.


artfuggins said...

I fail to see the purpose of this posting. Is it to bash a Democrat? Is it to bash felons who are achieving post prison? Is it relevant to a local pol who was just reelected? OR is it just a chance to peddle some sleaze?

Gary R. Welsh said...

Just another reflection on how badly our representative government is working. In New Hampshire, it's almost a civic duty for everyone to hold some elected office at some point during their lives. I just find it frightening that people who elected this person had no idea about the very recent criminal history of this person that should have been a show stopper for any person's candidacy. Even in New Hampshire, people are going to the polls and voting on people about whom they know nothing and casting their votes entirely on the basis of whether they have an "R" or a "D" behind their name. Unfortunately for Republicans, it is mostly voters inclined to vote for a Democrat regardless of how bad there poison is.