MNGOP Rep. Pat Garofalo takes renewed heat for dumb tweet after he cracks joke about it

PatGarofalo.jpg
Rep. Pat Garofalo
About 10 days ago, Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, drew attention from national media outlets ranging from SporsCenter to the Huffington Post for a tweet insinuating that your typical NBA player is a street criminal.

THE BACKSTORY: MNGOP Rep. Garofalo savaged for tweet linking NBA players to street criminals

It was bad, but as is usually the case with these things, it blew over in time. Now, however, Garofalo is taking fresh heat for cracking a joke about his regrettable tweet during a House Energy Policy Committee on Monday afternoon.

Garofalo was being job shadowed by a college student at the hearing.

"She's a freshman in college at Bethel University and she's going to be shadowing me for the day, where, after the Energy Committee I'll be giving her expert advice on what not to say on Twitter," Garofalo quipped, according to a KARE 11 report. The room burst out in laughter.

But for Mel Reeves, a freelance reporter and columnist for the Minnesota Spokesman Recorder, Garofalo's joke was no laughing matter.

"Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis are dead because of peoples' perceptions of who black people are," Reeves says. "This idea of black criminality is causing people to lose their lives. For a lawmaker, it's a big deal."

So Reeves and other activists, including members of the St. Paul NAACP, headed to the Capitol on Wednesday to demand an apology from Garofalo, and to ask Gov. Mark Dayton to officially censure him. "Initially [Garofalo] refused to apologize, and then when he did it was halfhearted," Reeves says. "If he can't apologize then maybe he shouldn't serve in the legislature anymore."

Reeves acknowledges that "no doubt there are black kids in the inner city that are committing crimes," but said "criminality is relative."

"These guys aren't dropping drones on anybody," he says. "They didn't rob the U.S. Treasury of nearly a trillion dollars."

The activists who headed to the Capitol didn't meet with Garofalo, and Reeves doesn't have any confidence Dayton will do anything in response to the censure request.

"I don't think [lawmakers] are going to take it seriously, but that's a mistake," Reeves says. "They're making a mistake if they don't think we're serious. Folks who know me know that when I get a hold of something, I take it pretty seriously."

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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29 comments
jherlitz
jherlitz

First of all, NFL is the league of numerous assholes. Secondly, Mel Reeves needs to take himself less seriously. Winkler's problem isnt his dumb comments, its his poor ideas and being a member of the Republican party, which is just a touch worse than being a Democrat. Until people like Reeves and his company of nitwits smarten up and toss aside this concern about racial issues, nothing is going to get fixed. The republicans and democrats only gain from this petty nonsense. Please push aside these small issues and take back this country for true liberty and freedom.

k2yeb
k2yeb topcommenter

Dumb thing to say. The rate is not much higher, and considering where many of these kids came from I do not think he is right. But, can we please stop posting articles about a tweet or facebook post. Trolling much.....

Bill Boudewyns
Bill Boudewyns

Gee Damian, I don't claim to be tolerant. Certainly not of scum like that.

Aaron Mielke
Aaron Mielke

Why would you use a racist term and then call someone a racist are you just dumb as fuck. How is he white trash?

eddogg67
eddogg67

Lmfao wow.......talk about kicking a dear horse. The guy didn't even say anything about race to begin with. And he's right, the NBA consists of a ton if convicted felons. I guess you can't even call a spade a spade anymore. What a bunch if thin skinned whiney losers.

Ryan Schoen
Ryan Schoen

I swear those buck teeth are looking right @ me.. Lol!

Matthew C. Lovett
Matthew C. Lovett

II'm not really asking for an apology. Its sarcasm. I get it, reading something loses its feeling sometimes. So to clarify my position, yes dumb comment on his part, he did apologize for it, I'm not sure it was a racially motivated comment unless someone has prove that his comment was directed only at black players. Therefore, someone is making more of the story than there actually is. And there is nothing wrongwith a sense of humor of stupid things you have done. So to try and go after him again for a humorous comment in my opinion is out of line. In other words, I don't care to look any further, meaning as I see it, same tired story of people assuming it was racial and making a big story when there isn't one.

Jack Hall
Jack Hall

Hey Damian Amberg, you’ve got to let “the left” have something to be intolerant about. I mean, “the right” gets to be intolerant of homosexuals, non-whites, non-Christians, the underprivileged, women, the disabled, the sick and dying. At least allow “the left” be intolerant of privileged, white, Christian males that say stupid shit in public. “The right” can’t have all the fun.

Carrie Graf
Carrie Graf

Why would you being a man or white have anything to do with it? You sound kind of sensitive. There are many factors to this story; the original post, the reaction to the post, the exchanges following the original post, his statements following the original post, his recent statement bringing it all up again.... So it's complicated, and that's why it would be hard to form an opinion on whether he should or shouldn't be a political representative. I think that the original statement was really stupid, his refusal to apologize was stupid, and him bringing it up again after it had pretty much gone away was stupid. That is what I based my opinion on. I won't apologize to you because there is no reason, I didn't insult you. I merely said that you should know what you're talking about before forming such a strong opinion. I stand by that.

Matthew C. Lovett
Matthew C. Lovett

well carrie, the comment was made because it seems to me by reading the article that was presented that people are making a race issue out of nothing. And I'm basically asking those who know the story weather his original comment were directed at specifically black athletes. If not then people are trying to dig up something where there is nothing. which is common for the over sensitive people. and when I say over sensitive, that could mean any color person. and when you say that I should educate myself before commenting, are you saying that because I'm white, or because I'm a man?I don't know but I feel like you should apologize to me. And if you can't apologize then please don't run for any political office

Carrie Graf
Carrie Graf

You just stated, "I really don't know and lack the care to really look into it any farther..." and then you ask what you are missing? Wow. I try not to educate myself about something before giving my opinion. But that's just me.

Matthew C. Lovett
Matthew C. Lovett

wait! I definitely have not heard of this until now, but this article doesn't state that his original "street criminal" comment was directed at only the black NBA players. or was it? I really don't know and I lack the care to really look into any further, but if their was no racial intention in his comment then why make it a racial issue? He made a stupid comment about NBA player and apologized for it. Now he suddenly shouldn't be a politician because he has a sense of humor about his mistake. someone please tell me respectfully, what am I missing in this story?

Shayne O'Neil
Shayne O'Neil

Since when is speaking the truth, racism ? Freakin idiots....

Damian Amberg
Damian Amberg

Gee Bill, sounds like the typical tolerant left..

Bill Boudewyns
Bill Boudewyns

Just more white trash racist scum serving in elected office.

Carrie Graf
Carrie Graf

So dumb. Why would he ever bring it up again?

midwestexplorer81
midwestexplorer81 topcommenter

It's up to voters to decide if they want Garofalo to stay or go, not some organization who's members are as guilty of stereotyping as Garofalo himself.

eddogg67
eddogg67

He didn't say anything racist you fag

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@midwestexplorer81  What a stupid fucking thing to say.  Why don't you follow your own advice and never give your opinion again stupid?   Those people blasting Garofalo are American citizens who have a right to share their opinions.   If you ever give your opinion again you are a  hypocrite.  

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@midwestexplorer81  I can see why Farmington voters would elect a man with the face of a pig. 

midwestexplorer81
midwestexplorer81 topcommenter

@MicheleBachmann Until you stop using Bachmann's name you are just a cheesy ass troll. Seriously lol, we all have opinions and hate people but you are the only one on here stealing names like a child LOL You are no better than people using Obama's name with racist avatars on other comment sections or forums.

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