Rob McKenna, Republican candidate for Washington State Governor, issued a statement early Monday evening in response to tweets made by a policy aide that were offensive to people of Asian ancestry and the elderly.
“The tweets sent by a member of my campaign staff, Kathlyn Ehl, which were reported today were offensive and inappropriate. I am glad to see that she has apologized for her actions.
The fact that she made the comments before joining my campaign does not make them any less hurtful to Asian Americans and the elderly. They were insensitive and wrong regardless of their context.
She has done the right thing by apologizing. I am hopeful that she has learned a humbling lesson that will give her greater perspective about having charity in her heart when considering the challenges faced by others.”
McKenna’s statement refers to tweets made by Kathlyn Ehl in late 2011 and January of this year (the McKenna campaign says before she began working on McKenna’s gubernatorial campaign) that were discovered and published earlier Monday by Seattle’s ultra left-wing SLOG blog at The Stranger.
After conducting several Google searches we could not locate the apology from Ehl that McKenna alludes to in his statement and have asked the McKenna campaign for help finding it.
Although the offending messages were deleted from Ehl’s account, the screenshots made by the SLOG captured one message that read “shut up and speak English #asians” and another that vented about slower-paced elderly pedestrians:
We have a request in to the McKenna campaign for additional information regarding the matter and have also reached out to Ehl for her comments.
Update 7:05 p.m.: The apology from Ehl–alluded to in McKenna’s statement–appears to have been delivered to one Seattle media outlet:
In an email message to The Seattle Times, Ehl also apologized.
“These insensitive comments were harmful not just to those groups which I mentioned in the tweets, but also to my family, friends and my co-workers,” she wrote. “For causing that pain, I am sorry.” …
“My actions were not just unfortunate, they were offensive,” she wrote in the email. “It is a lesson to others that social media comments made in frustration not only can hurt others, but they exist long after the moment has passed.”
[Post originally published at 6:03 p.m. July 16, 2012; updated 7:03 p.m. with text and link to Ehl’s apology. We also originally ran this story and credited Publicola with breaking it, but later learned that the SLOG blog at The Stranger had it nearly a half-hour beforehand, thus corrected attribution for the scoop accordingly.]