Dave Iglesias and I have been buddies since freshman year of college at Wheaton 27 years ago.Every year we get together somewhere in the world to have fun. We both have four girls, and often we vacation as families in the summer. I know as much about Dave as I do any human being.
I’m a loyal friend – I’ve watched with incredulity as this Justice Dept. scandal has played out recently. At first Dave didn’t know why he’d been fired. His career as U.S. Attorney in NM looked great and suddenly he was handed his walking papers. Then he discovered that seven other of his peers had also been fired. And then the Bush administration had the gall to say that Dave had been fired for poor performance despite the good reviews they’d given him.
That was too much to take. He’d been willing to take his lumps, knowing it was politics, but when Attorney General Gonzales lied about him on national television, it was time to talk. As it turns out, Dave’s former mentor, Sen. Domenici, couldn’t get Dave to do him a political favor (a clear violation of his ethical standards) and had pressed the Bush administration to fire him. The whole thing stinks and when Katie Couric interviewed him, Dave laid it out in no uncertain terms, turning the tables on his former bosses. So now the press is speculating about his future – this quote is typical:
“In a delicious irony, Iglesias’ future looks brighter than the man who fired him – even if, at the moment, the former U.S. attorney is scrambling to find employment to support his wife and four daughters. Iglesias said his appearance before Congress might have hurt him professionally.
He needn’t worry. With his credentials, he won’t be jobless for long. He may come out the hero. People stop him in airports, he said, to shake his hand and thank him. And politics does loves a hero. Iglesias, who was the Republican nominee for New Mexico attorney general in 1998, said he’s not interested in running now.
He should reconsider and run for the U.S. Senate in 2008. It’ll give him the chance to take on someone who, like Gonzales, has had his reputation sullied by all this: Pete Domenici.”
But here’s what I take away from all this. With all the allegations being thrown around, you may wonder where Gonzales or other professional politicians stand, but you don’t wonder about Dave. Ask a college buddy who has seen him walk out his relationship with Jesus Christ. Dave’s parents are missionaries – in fact his father is a full-blooded Kuna Indian. Dave not only has their heritage and faith, he has the unimpeachable integrity it brings. He sleeps soundly at night. He just does the right thing, no matter the cost.
You can’t put a price on integrity. You don’t play the angles, you don’t hedge the truth. You do what’s right. Dave’s been studying his whole life to play this role. We should all do so well when the klieg lights are turned on us.