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Friday, April 26, 2013

State Senator Mike Hewitt's Office Backpedals on Gay Farming, Calls Earlier Conversation "Poorly Handled"

Posted by on Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 3:19 PM

Following up on a post I wrote earlier today, in which a state senator's staffer told a concerned voter that "gays can just grow their own food" if grocery stores are allowed to discriminate against them, the staffer now says "that's not representative of Senator Hewitt's views on the matter," though he won't explain or elaborate.

I just got off the phone with the senator's office (that's 360-786-7630). It turns out I just needed to call from a different area code to get through.

The staffer, whose voice sounded pretty familiar, still wouldn't tell me his name. (The only legislative staffer listed on Senator Mike Hewitt's website is Barrett Pryce, but we can't say with 100 percent certainty that he's the one taking calls today.) I told him I thought he'd hung up on me earlier. He said it was "probably a poorly handled call." I reminded him of our earlier conversation and asked him about his response to Mr. Castro.

"That's not accurate," the unidentified staffer told me. "Half of that is accurate." Care to tell me which half? "No," he answered. "It was a poor response to a question, that's really all I want to say about that. He caught me at a bad time; I'm not interested in answering hypotheticals. It was a combative call. Patience was lost, mistakes were made, and that's it."

I told him I thought the question asked was a legitimate one—what should people do if a business they're trying to patronize turns them away? That question isn't totally hypothetical; the bill Senator Hewitt is co-sponsoring could make it a reality. He said he had "no statement on the proposal whatsoever," only "apologies for a poorly handled call... A poorly handled call that's not representative of Senator Hewitt's views on the matter," he clarified.

"So you won't identify yourself, you won't tell me which half of the reported conversation is not accurate, and you won't tell me the senator's views on the bill he's co-sponsoring?" I asked. He confirmed that, and then I hung up on him. Ha-ha, just kidding—that would be unprofessional.


Comments (14) RSS

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can't wait to hear the next installment.
Posted by get a life. on April 26, 2013 at 3:24 PM · Report this
You really called from a different area code and got an answer?
Well, well, well.
Posted by Daniel Francis on April 26, 2013 at 3:25 PM · Report this
I respect the intellectual honesty of the office blocking all of the 206 area code. It's clear the senator doesn't give a shit what Seattle thinks anyway, so refusing to even take the calls is really just confirming the existing position.
Posted by Tyler Pierce on April 26, 2013 at 4:00 PM · Report this
I could answer the question for Senator Bigot. If you're non-straight and you get rejected by one business (for religious reasons, of course, not because of intolerance) then you go to the next business. What's so hard about that?
Posted by floater on April 26, 2013 at 4:13 PM · Report this
So there's this site called that'll prank call people, from like a Maryland area code............. just puttin' that out there.
Posted by intoxipolitan on April 26, 2013 at 4:22 PM · Report this
MacCrocodile 6
@4 - The question specifically asked what is to be done when "the next business" is miles away. Hopping over to the next grocery store or gas station isn't always an option.
Posted by MacCrocodile on April 26, 2013 at 4:44 PM · Report this
@4 If I'm remembering correctly the original question was concerning rural gays who get refused service at the only gas station or store for miles.
Posted by milleribsen on April 26, 2013 at 4:46 PM · Report this
@7: I suppose they're supposed to make their own biodiesel out of the food they grow.
Posted by Joe Glibmoron on April 26, 2013 at 5:44 PM · Report this
@6, @7 Oh, okay. So then the answer can be: "Move to Seattle instead of affronting the religious morals of decent rural folks just trying to live their lives and worship their God." But I guess that answer would only play well in am talk radio. It's hard to spin this bill for the general population.
Posted by floater on April 26, 2013 at 6:17 PM · Report this
fletc3her 10
These guys are drifting into white supremacist territory. Discriminating is one thing, but claiming your religious beliefs require discrimination is beyond hateful.
Posted by fletc3her on April 26, 2013 at 10:08 PM · Report this
Too bad gays and gay allies can't buy up all those remote stores and gas stations out there and refuse to serve bigots... That would be glorious.
Posted by MemeGene on April 27, 2013 at 8:37 AM · Report this
Too bad gays and straight allies can't buy up all those remote stores and gas stations out there and refuse to serve bigots... That would be glorious.
Posted by MemeGene on April 27, 2013 at 8:38 AM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 13
Hewitt is the Walla Walla Senator. I think if Walla Walla business know how unhappy Seattle tourists and wine buyers are with their Senator, THEY will call him and tell him to STFU. So kids what do we learn from this? That the Senator does not care what Seattle people think of him, BUT the business in Walla Walla that DO LIKE Seattle tourists WILL Listen. SO on Monday give a few Walla Walla businesses a call and tell them what you think about their bigoted Senator.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on April 27, 2013 at 9:49 PM · Report this
I moved to Walla Walla with my husband and daughter six months ago after living in Seattle for ten years. In my experience, Walla Walla is a wonderful, diverse place full of friendly people. Everyone I know is very accepting of the local LGBT community. I've also met several young families who moved here from larger cities like Seattle, Portland and even New York. Sen. Hewitt's sponsorship of this bill and his staffer's comments have outraged people in town. I personally have written the Senator's office asking him to renounce his sponsorship of this bill and to publically apologize to his constituency. (My cell phone is still a 206 area code, so I'm not getting through by phone of course.) I'm devastated that this guy is representing Walla Walla. Seriously you guys, Walla Walla is awesome.
Posted by WallaWallaFan on May 1, 2013 at 12:19 PM · Report this

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