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Congressman Turns On Anti-Immigrant Teacher

An unnamed Florida Congressman (or more likely their staff) took a letter from Orange County elementary school teacher Jan Hall and turned it over to a Spanish language newspaper. As her letter was filled with anti-immigrant rants from her perspective as a teacher at Sadler Elementary School, it ignited a firestorm which eventually lead to suspension, resignation, and now a lawsuit. You don't have to agree with Hall's opinions to be outraged that a piece of mail to a Congressional office would be deliberately leaked to a news organization solely to draw a massive amount of negative publicity to her private communication. You can read the whole sorted story at WorldNet Daily, or dive back into the history of the story via Google News.

While the right of the people to petition the Government for a redress of grievances is enshrined in the 1st Amendment, unfortunately there's no legal protection from some Capitol Hill asshole bent on destroying the career of a constituent. The old saying about never writing anything in a e-mail you wouldn't want to read on the front page of the Washington Post, now apparently applies to hand-written notes to your Congressman.

We'll keep you posted on efforts to identify the Congressman.

Update: While being a bit of a wack-job might get you fired as a teacher, it's apparently a big draw as a weatherman...

Update 2: According to her lawyer the list of suspects is as follows:

Jan Hall's lawyer said she sent the letter to nine elected officials: state senators Gary Siplin and Lee Constantine, congressmen Tom Feeney, Dave Weldon and Ric Keller, congresswoman Corrine Brown, U.S. senator Bill Nelson, Governor Bush and President Bush.


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Comments (19)

Local Orlando talk show hos... (Below threshold)

Local Orlando talk show host Pat Campbell broke this story and has been covering it from the begining. He is also a blogger: http://pc540.blogspot.com and his show is streamed ( http://540wfla.com/streaming.html ).

Maybe he can join Calypso L... (Below threshold)

Maybe he can join Calypso Louie on his trip to the mother ship. I've seen the website and I can't believe this guy is in the same profession I am.

More crap from aultra liber... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

More crap from aultra liberal member of CONgress why dont we deport this congressional ileagl alein?

Hey, where's the teachers u... (Below threshold)

Hey, where's the teachers union to protect their member? Or does it only protect them from Republican congressmen? Yeah, I agree the document should have been treated as confidential, but I'm struck by two issues here:

1. The lack of concern for a constituent's privacy by some Capitol Hill hack.

2. That teacher can't write worth a shit. Pathetic.

We should identify the Cong... (Below threshold)

We should identify the Congressman and force him/her to finger the staffer. Then we collectively open his/her life to the public. He or she went to high school and college and maybe did a few things that he or she would not like to be public. People dated, hung out and lived with this turd and perhaps not all of them are filled with fond memories.

Basically we need to ridicule, mock, and shame this douche to make a very public example of him or her. Then the next time I rant to my Congressman some drone in the mailroom will think twice about forwarding my mail.

About that meteorologist, S... (Below threshold)

About that meteorologist, Scott Stevens - would you trust that man to provide for you weather advice? Hopefully, for the sake of the station's viewers, he just reads the NOAA wire and analyzes nothing. One of the most publicly bizarre reports I've ever read. I'm afraid I'll remain cognizantly mired in "Stage 2" of truth since it is apparent that Mr. Stevens stepped into the way of too many electromagnetic waves. We all know it is K. Rove and not some Cold War leftovers that directs storms.

Hey, don't you talk bad abo... (Below threshold)

Hey, don't you talk bad about the weather wars guy... He's good for at LEAST 2 posts a month. If the USA TODAY scares my favorite kook away, I am gonna be very upset.

I agree with Rant Wraith...... (Below threshold)

I agree with Rant Wraith...

I wish this woman the best ... (Below threshold)

I wish this woman the best in her lawsuit because she should sue and the Congressman and office need to be held accountable.

I've had a somewhat similar (nothing about immigration, however, nor immigrants) compromise and failure witnessed by local electeds, and it's incredibly disappointing to find that who you thought would be trustworthy (County Supervisors, Congressman, Governors, big whigs all) are not where individual citizen communications and issues are concerned. Very disappointing when you find that you've voted for someone who otherwise could care less about you.

Orange County is Florida's ... (Below threshold)

Orange County is Florida's 8th District. Ric Keller (R) is the Rep. However, Ric Keller appears to be level-headed when it comes to immigration of the legal variety as shown in his voting record. And tough on those seeking assylum or seeking government aid when they're illegal. Somehow I don't think he's the one. I could be wrong, but I'd be surprised. He got a very low score by "progressives". Unless, of course, it was an idealistic aid that released the letter.

And it looks like the Orange County Schoolboard was who released the letter to the news. The Congressman (or aide) perhaps released it to the school board?

I think we need to take up ... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

I think we need to take up a collection for the weatherman. I think he has run out of tin foil and hasn't been wearing his hat for a while now.

FloridaOyster...you are, I'... (Below threshold)

FloridaOyster...you are, I'm best-guessing, probably correct in suggesting that it was a zealous "aid" who is responsible, and having encountered more than enough zealous "aids" in varous legislators' offices myself -- who make even a simple issue overly complex, add a negative charge to the communication and otherwise lend a terrible impression about their respective legislators to the voting public -- the legislators are responsible for the staff.

They can sidestep all they want to and voters can extend a degree of excuse to compromised behavior by staff and aids and such in various offices, but ultimately, the legislator is responsible for the bad deeds waged against and about the public (particularly consituents) by whoever it is who is affiliated with their offices.

There are many who seek out internships with legislators and then are hired on in staff positions who are there to enable just such ethical compromises of who they're supposedly representing and at this point, one compromise is one too many, particularly of this nature.

Admittedly here, I have also had a recent similar sort of letter to a local Congressman's office "forwarded" and yet the Congressman himself did that. The guy is now head of the SEC. Take a guess who that is...

Fingers are pointing at Sta... (Below threshold)

Fingers are pointing at State Senator Gary Sipplin's office as the source of the leak.

Well, now we have to correl... (Below threshold)

Well, now we have to correlate the list of people sending letters blaming the US government for intentionally imploding the Trade Center Towers with the list of public school teachers and fire all them as well.

What's worse, blaming illegals for some nasty things, or blaming the US Government for treasonous acts against thousands of citizens?

j.pickens: the issue is no... (Below threshold)

j.pickens: the issue is not to consider a generalization about ALL "letters" but that a specific, individual letter and the confidence it contained in corresponding with an elected official was intentionally used to harm the author of that letter, the voter, and by that official's office.

You have to approach these issues one at a time. As in, find a person who would so disrespect the integrity of a constituent correspondence, and you'll find bigger compromises afterward. But first you have to make right the first individual thing.

Much to agree with from -S-... (Below threshold)

Much to agree with from -S- and Rant.

An additional question or two:

Are the "newspeople" going to go to jail for this source?

Is there a pool for when, exactly, we'll get the confirmation on the legislator's office responsible for this outrage?

the whole sorted s... (Below threshold)
Grammar Man:
the whole sorted story...
You mean the whole sordid story.  (Or at least that's what it looked like what you meant after I got it sorted out. ;-)
This woman is a fanatic, an... (Below threshold)

This woman is a fanatic, and needs to be castrated.

The inside scoop is the lea... (Below threshold)

The inside scoop is the leaker is a liberal representatives staffer who has links to La Raza and thus holds allegiance with Mexico and not the US and US citizens.

Thus, though in some respects factual (spanish speaking students to hold back english speaking student because they take funds away) and in some respects sweeping generalizations (not unlike Senator Kennedy that the little guy should always win), it is nonetheless her right to say it and if it offends, then discuss it. That's America. To silence her, that is the Latin Cultural way and that is why Mexico is so corrupt.






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