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Democratic Senator calls GOP "faggots"


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Fumo apologizes for derogatory term

Friday, October 08, 2004



Of The Patriot-News


Sen. Vince Fumo issued an open apology yesterday to the gay community for his use of the word "faggot" in a name-calling tirade on the state Senate floor late Wednesday.


Fumo hurled the epithet several times at Senate President Pro Tempore Robert Jubelirer, R-Blair, and Majority Leader David "Chip" Brightbill, R-Lebanon, after the Senate Republicans moved to stifle debate on a number of Democratic amendments to their slots bill.


According to witnesses, Fumo stormed over to the GOP leaders during a break in proceedings and accused them of breaking a pledge that he and his colleagues would be permitted to present their amendments. Fumo used the term several times before the exchange ended. It was not captured on tape.


Later, the Philadelphia Democrat acknowledged to reporters that he had lost his temper and "made a mistake" in his choice of words.


Yesterday, Fumo phoned Mark Segal, the publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News. According to a press release issued by his office, he apologized for "a very unfortunate word choice. ... I am especially sorry about using the term because it is not the way I feel in my heart toward gays."


The expression of remorse was not meant for his Senate colleagues, Fumo staffers said.


"He feels that the error he made was in using a term that is regarded as derogatory toward gay people," Fumo spokesman Gary Tuma said. "He does not regret getting into an argument with Senators Jubelirer and Brightbill."


Fumo's apology was accepted by Segal and other gay rights advocates.


"Vince is the kind of guy, when he gets angry colorful things come out of his mouth," said Segal, who considers himself a friend of Fumo's. "But he is also the No. 1 supporter of gay and lesbian issues in the Pennsylvania Senate ... and deeds speak louder than words."


Others, including Jubelirer, were in a less-forgiving mood.


Jubelirer, a member of the state Senate for 30 years, said Fumo's outburst was one of the worst he'd ever seen. He said Fumo owes a direct apology to his colleagues.


Kathleen Hall Jamieson, an expert on political communication at the University of Pennsylvania, agreed.


"The people we elect are supposed to be role models, and they're supposed to hold themselves to a higher standard than everybody else," she said. "Not a lower standard."


Nor does Fumo get a pass because of his animated personality. "Name-calling like that isn't appropriate in any venue, but there have to be expectations for what is appropriate language for a deliberative body," she said.


Senate rules regarding order and decorum generally apply to floor debates, and the body was in recess when Fumo lashed out.


The chamber's Ethics Committee investigates complaints into illegal or unethical activities by members. "It is something that we may need to discuss," Jubelirer said. "This should never happen."


Fumo was angry over his being blocked from debating an amendment that would broaden a proposed ban on lawmakers having financial interests in gaming businesses. Fumo wanted the ban to prohibit all family members, including adult children, from deriving income from a gambling enterprise.


In theory, the amendment would affect Jubelirer's son, Jeff, who handles public relations work for Philadelphia businessman Manny Stamatakis. Stamatakis is interested in applying for a license to operate a freestanding slots parlor in Philadelphia.


Republicans said they curtailed debate in part because Fumo's amendment -- which included a more-expansive definition for "immediate family" than the law Fumo helped to negotiate this summer -- was "mean-spirited, and intended to embarrass people."


Fumo ended his statement yesterday by suggesting Jubelirer and Brightbill "owe an apology to the people of Pennsylvania for failing to confront the issue of legislators' relatives being able to enrich themselves through gambling."


The slots bill, passed on a 49-1 vote, moves to the House.


CHARLES THOMPSON: 705-5724 or [email protected]

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>>>"But he is also the No. 1 supporter of gay

>>>and lesbian issues in the Pennsylvania Senate ... and deeds

>>>speak louder than words."


>>Good point.


>LOL!!! Is there ANYTIHNG a Democrat can do that you won't



Considering all the Bushit you and your fellow Repiglicans have forgiven your pretendident, this seems a minor transgression.

“On the fields of Trenzalore, at the fall of the Eleventh, when no living creature may speak falsely or fail to give answer, a question will be asked. A question that must never, ever be answered: Doctor.....WHO?????"

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