In late February, as we reported, California State Sen. Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) was unceremoniously removed from the Senate floor while attempting to give an “alternative viewpoint” on the memory of late Sen. Tom Hayden.
The removal of Nguyen, a Vietnamese refugee, made national news, and Senate leaders, after first standing by their decision, made comments about wanting to investigate what happened. But when a group of Nguyen’s constituents visited Sacramento Monday to protest her treatment at the hands of (male) Senate leaders, Sen. Kevin de Leon could only keep up his contrite facade for a few moments.
He approached the crowd and, after the boos subsided, took responsibility for the incident. When one man told him the right thing to do is to apologize, de Leon offered to do it privately. The man replied that a public apology would be better.
Then, the Sacramento Bee reports:
At that point, de León turned to the cluster of trailing reporters, confessing that he was “a little confused” as to why the saga continues “to go on and on and on and on.”
“I think she enjoyed the 15 minutes of fame,” de León added of Nguyen, as the cameras looked on.
“And she doesn’t want it to disappear, obviously.”
Wow, what a genuine apology that would have been.
Sen. Nguyen got wind of the comments and replied on the Senate floor.
“Your statement to some media outlets downstairs that I’m doing this for my 15 minutes of fame are not only both wrong and extremely offensive. This is not and has never been about Janet Nguyen. It is about the voices of the 34th Senate District and that the Vietnamese-American community was silenced.”
Sensing that he was in for another round of scathing news stories, de Leon attempted to apologize to Nguyen in the hall, on camera. She walked away.
(Thanks to Katy Grimes of Flash Report for the photo from the rally.)