Brad Messer Commentary
Thursday, October 9, 2003

Acting Like Mexicans

San Antonio state senator Leticia Van de Putte says that a Republican state senator insulted her by saying she was acting "like a Mexican."

The alleged incident happened in mid-September, in Austin, after the quorum-busting Democrats returned from New Mexico. In their absence, the ruling GOP in Austin had decided to punish the absentees— take away their capitol parking spaces, bar their staff members from the Senate floor, impose money fines and so on.

Van de Putte says that Senator Judith Zaffirini had been told that if she tried to use her assigned parking space, her car would be towed away.

Van de Putte says she asked an un-named Republican why the Republicans were "being so punitive." She claims the mystery man told her, "If you are going to act like Mexicans, you will be treated like Mexicans."

Van de Putte says four other Republican senators nodded their heads in agreement. However, no witnesses have been uncovered and Mrs. Van de Putte won't name names.

As Senator Jeff Wentworth told Eliza Sunneland, Van de Putte's accusation puts a cloud over all Republican state senators, unfairly. He says she should name the offending senator.

I don't say this often, but Wentworth is right. She should. If she doesn't, what's to prevent people from thinking she made the whole story up?

Brad Messer commentary, KTSA.

Jan Jarboe Russell, San Antonio Express-News 10/8/2003
Legislature sinks further with report of racial slur

San Antonio Express-News 10/9/2003
GOP senators are demanding a name

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