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I confess to not knowing much about Senator Janet Cowell from Raleigh, who wants to run for State Treasurer.


But she did something rare for a politician last week.  And my opinion of her immediately went sky-high.


She apologized.  She admitted she made a mistake.  She owned up to it.


And she did so in remarkably clear language.  Unlike virtually any other politician or public figure, she didn’t weasel-word.  No “mistakes were made.”  No “I regret if anyone took offense, blah, blah, blah.”


Instead, she admitted she had not done her homework on a bill that caused a flap about a parking deck in downtown Raleigh.  She acknowledged that she agreed to change the language without understanding what the change meant.


In a letter to The News & Observer, Cowell wrote:


“I should have insisted on time to research and analyze the genesis, scope and implications of the new bill language.”


She added:


“No matter how hectic the process, how late the hour or how human the legislator, it is the responsibility of each member of the General Assembly to have an appropriate level of understanding of any piece of legislation that we agree to sponsor. I take full responsibility for having failed to do that in this instance.”


Bravo.  Maybe some other public figures will learn from her example.


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