OP-Ed: Latino Leaders Angry Over Courant Editorial

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Real Culprits Not Named in Editorial
In an April 14, 2015 editorial, the Hartford Courant shamelessly accused Rep. Minnie Gonzalez of disgracing the House of Representatives based upon the comments in a private email.
Regrettably, by aiming its vitriol at Rep. Gonzalez, the Courant has missed the real target and absolved the real culprits. Its ire should have been directed at Rep. Rosa Rebimbas, whose petulant hissy fit and over-reaction to a private email brought the legislative process to a screeching halt.
In singling out Rep. Gonzalez, the Courant has unfairly and unjustly used her as a scapegoat in order to camouflage the failure of the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee to complete its business. Your editorial betrays bias, is shallow, and uninformed.
You assail a single state representative, while seeking to absolve those who were truly responsible for this Legislative fiasco.
Representative Gonzalez is a passionate advocate for reform of what many consider to be a corrupt and incestuous Family Court environment, particularly the appointment by Superior Court Judges of Guardians at Litem (GAL) for minor children.
The offending email was sent from Rep. Gonzalez’s private email address in response to an email from a court reform advocate.  Rep. Rebimbas, along with other members of the Judiciary Committee, received a copy of Rep. Gonzalez’s response.
Attorney Rebimbas maintains a private Family Court law practice which includes cases in which she serves as a GAL appointed by Judges.
She has been an outspoken opponent of reform and defender of the status quo, who evidently can dish it out in the court room and in the legislature, but is offended when criticized in a private email.
In the words of Governor Malloy, speaking on a different topic, this thin-skinned legislator should “get over it.”
To even suggest that the Judiciary Committee was unable to function because an attorney legislator took umbrage at the contents of a private email, is absurd on its face.
The objective fact is, that Republican legislators decided to orchestrate a filibuster, not over principled opposition to proposed legislation, but based upon personal pique and hurt feelings.
Really????
This represents an inexcusable abdication of their role as legislators, and representatives of the people.
Unfortunately, the Republican temper tantrum was validated by the Democratic leadership of the Judiciary Committee.  Instead of insisting that the Committee do its job before the 5:00 PM deadline, hours were squandered attempting to assuage Rep. Rebimbas’ hurt feelings.  The Committee leadership shares in the blame for this legislative disaster because, after all, they are in “control of the process.”
Sadly, the scapegoating of Minnie Gonzalez is not the only vicious attack on an outspoken Latina in recent days.
In a Judicial opinion released by the Connecticut Supreme Court, an opinion authored by Justice Richard Palmer and joined in by Chief Justice Chase Rogers, Justice Carmen Espinosa was accused of ‘dishonoring the Court.’
What was her offense?  She dared to oppose Justice Palmer, Chief Justice Rogers, Justice Andrew McDonald, and Justice Dennis Everleigh in a strongly worded dissenting opinion.  Since when has dissent, especially in legal opinions, become dishonorable?
It is certainly reasonable to pose a question the Courant seems unwilling to ask: “is it open season on principled Latina officials who dare to question and present a different perspective on issues that affect the community as a whole?”
 

Carmen L. Lopez, Bridgeport
Amado Vargas, Esq. Middletown
Norma Rodriguez-Reyes, New Haven
Tomas Reyes, New Haven
Joseph Rodriguez, New Haven
Chair, CT Hispanic Democratic Caucus
Yolanda Castillo, New Britain
Vice-Chair, CT Hispanic Democratic Caucus

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7 thoughts on “OP-Ed: Latino Leaders Angry Over Courant Editorial

  1. Oh stop. But your big Girl pants on and face the world head on.
    The One time the Courant, who is owned and operated by Leftists, find fault with a “Protected Class” you go off the rails.
    Instead a little introspective on your part would do better to serve yourselves and constituents.

  2. Her offense? Firstly, she is accusing a lawyer of malfeasance, while in the position of representative. Her actions actually could meet the criteria for “slander.” She is entrusted with a great deal of power and the exposure of this toxic pettiness shows she is too compromised to be an unprejudiced wielder of it.
    No matter, those who care more about how someone looks and what their last name is, rather than “the content of their character”, will defend even the indefensible. There are certain obligations that come with positions of power. She was wrong, regardless of how emotionally her supporters defend her as a person. Stop holding her to lower moral and professional standards than you would any, other representative, just because she’s a “Latina.”
    Gonzalez is a public representative; it doesn’t matter if she’s a good person if she can’t subdue her instinct for personal vendettas and handle her power responsibly. She’s lucky she isn’t getting charges brought against her.

  3. Rep. Gonzalez engaged in an unprecedented personal attack on a duly elected legislator (just like herself) who happened to be on the other side of an issue. Personal attacks are clearly outside the legislature’s rules for a reason.
    Rep. Gonzalez is entitled to criticize an opposing idea, but by making it personal, she damages the process for everyone. She has done a disservice to herself, Rep. Rebimbas, and most importantly to the legislative process.
    Even worse is that she made a clear threat. Her caucus leadership must take some public action.
    When a previous Democrat State Rep. made a totally inappropriate and in poor taste remark, he was stripped of his leadership position. There wasn’t the slightest malice in his remark. He was subjected to harsh punishment.
    What is the difference here?
    Earlier this session when a Greenwich Representative made a joking remark, which was in either questionable or poor taste, but without malice, Democrats openly criticized him.
    What is the difference here?
    Rep. Gonzalez made a totally inappropriate remark, also in poor taste, but with clear malice. And how is it not to be construed as anything but a threat? “Every pig has its Saturday.”
    Representative Gonzalez should be treated as any other legislator should who crosses the line into personal and threatening politics. It makes no difference if she is “Latina,” Black, or White. Disrespect for the process and the rules cannot be ignored.
    The burden is now on her Caucus leadership to stand tall and do the right thing. And silence is not the right thing.

  4. Why would she get charges brought against her?? If you had been at he legislative hearing it was Rebimbas that was slandering against Rep Gonzalez. Rep Rebimbas waited until Rep Gonzalez stepped out of the room to slander and attack her. Why not wait until Rep Gonzalez was back in the hearing to address any comments or concerns to her directly instead she waited until she left the room. What did she fear the Rep Gonzalez would uncover her true colors?? People need to know the whole story before they go attacking Rep Gonzalez. If more people worked together in the reform instead of spending all their time attacking Rep Gonzalez we might just get things done. Instead people are not getting the full story and are quick to judge Rep Gonzalez on clearly having strong feelings on an issue that clearly affects our children and families. Why don’t you work passionately with us and help us uncover the truth in this corruption instead of wasting your time attacking the one State Rep that is helping us stop this corruption against our children?? It makes us wonder what else does Hartford Courant report on that they haven’t investigated the whole facts on or decided to leave certain information out for the public not to know?? Lots of things by the looks of it.

  5. Would people be so upset if her name was Jane Smith? I don’t think so. We can’t continue to blindly support a person just because s/he is Latina/a. Gonzalez has to be treated like anyone else who would do the same thing, which was wrong. Her apology reminds me of those we hear often “Ooops. Me bad. Will not do it again.” Please

  6. Why are you bothered that a “protected class, ” as you put it replies to an editorial that they see as targeting the wrong party? “Put your big girl pants on and face the world ahead?” What is that about. They were right to respond to an unfair editorial, just as I’m replying to an unfair, insensitive and nonsensical comment made by you.

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