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Father In-Law on TV.. Ft. Hood Shooting

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by AFButters, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. Nov 15, 2009 at 7:03 PM

    AFButters [OP] Rigger, Please!!

    Sep 10, 2008
    First Name:
    Albuquerque, NM
    2008 335xi BMW
    Skipper is my Father Inlaw



    Elections official fired after comments

    Some offended by remarks during training

    Updated: Friday, 13 Nov 2009, 8:42 AM CST
    Published : Thursday, 12 Nov 2009, 3:19 PM CST
    • <LI sizcache="63" sizset="58">Matt Flener
    • Karen Brooks
    AUSTIN (KXAN) - The Texas Secretary of State's office has fired a state elections official a few days after she made comments that offended some in the Hispanic community.
    Melinda Nickless, assistant director for the Secretary of State's elections division, last weekend told a group of county election chairman from around the state that election workers should speak loudly and clearly to non-English speaking voters.
    It was "inappropriate, unacceptable, offensive and demeaning," said state Democratic committeewoman Rosalie Weisfeld, whose protested the comments at the meeting. "I lost sleep over it, I thought about it for days. It was so unsettling."
    The Secretary of State's office fired Nickless Wednesday after an investigation, but it was unclear on Thursday whether she was fired for those comments, as officials with the state said they wouldn't discuss a personnel matter in detail.
    However, a statement from Secretary of State Hope Andrade, released Thursday, said her office regeretted Nickless' actions:
    "During a panel discussion at the election law seminar on Saturday, an SOS employee tried to use humor in answering a question. The employee's answer was neither funny nor appropriate. The employee's comment does not reflect the position or policy of the Secretary of State's Office and we regret the unfortunate incident."
    However, the timing of the action didn't escape people on both sides - those who were offended by the remarks, and those who called the firing "political correctness at its worst."
    Paul Saldana, former board member of the Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce said the firing sends a wake-up call to state workers.
    "They may need more cultural sensitivity training," Saldana said.
    Nickless was helping conduct training for Democratic and Republican County chairs in Austin Saturday in advance of primary season.
    She told the group that election workers should "...say really slow and loud: 'Sit down, I will call someone to help you. Un momento por favor, me telefono somebody,'" if someone does not understand English.
    Sounds of laughter are audible on a tape provided to KXAN by the Secretary of State's office.
    Nickless then told a story about her mother coming out of Wal-Mart, saying that a lady had hit her car.
    The lady said, "No speak English," Nickless told the group.
    She said her mother then went inside to call her husband.
    "And I said, 'How did you talk to the lady and tell her that, Mother, if she didn't speak English?' " she said.
    Nickless then imitated her mother
    "Un momento, mi telefono el esposo," she told told the group.
    Her mother then came back out to the car, Nickless said, and the lady was gone.
    "Really, Mother," Nickless said. "Duh."
    Later, Rosalie Weisfeld, a Texas Democratic committeewoman, stood up and told the crowd that she was offended by Nickless' comments. Nickless later apologized.
    Here's an iReport account of the exchange, posted by Rosalie Weisfeld, Texas SDEC 20 Committeewoman.
    ""My intent was not to see her fired," said Weisfeld, who didn't file a formal complaint. "But I think that her firing by the Secretary of State sends a clear message to all election workers that respecting and showing tolerance for people who don't speak English but who are American citizens and registered to vote - that is important."
    "This is a lesson," said Weisfeld. " When you see an injustice, stand up and say something."
    Skipper Wallace , legislative chairman for the Texas Republican County Chairmen's Association, attended Saturday's meeting with election officials.
    "If that was the whole reason she was fired, it's political correctness at it's worst," said Wallace. "I've known this lady for 18 years, and she's been one of the best."
    Wallace then related the firing to Thursday's Fort Hood Shootings, saying government agencies are becoming too politically correct.
    "The department of the Army is too damn politically correct to call a Muslim a terrorist," Wallace said. "We're so politically correct these days it makes me want to throw up."
    Wallace said he was looking into whether Nickless had more marks against her record that led to the firing.
    Saldana also pointed out a Pew Hispanic research study that said there were 3.6 million eligible voters in Texas for the 2008 election, saying 31 percent of all Hispanic eligible voters are age 18-29.
    "I think our elected officials or our appointed officials in the state of Texas really need to do a better job in being responsible, certainly, to the diversity that makes up our state," Saldana said.

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