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.