Vallario, always supportive of the Constitutional rights of criminals,
disdains the Constitutional rights of critics, cutting off testimony
and refusing to accept criticism he doesn't like.
Ramirez, who wants law-abiding citizens to pay to subsidize
law-breakers, plays the race card to avoid responding to the substance
of the matter.
While Vallario and Ramirez seem to find the truth offensive, I am
greatly offended by them, their opposition to the rights of citizens,
their opposition to the rule of law, and their apparent disregard of
what they solemnly promised when they took the oath of office.
Sparks fly in House Judiciary Committee
Del. Joseph F. Vallario, Jr., who chairs the House Judiciary
Committee, barred a flyer disparaging him from being passed out to his
committee yesterday in a hearing that dealt with a number of bills
seeking to crack down on illegal immigration. . . .
Later, the room erupted in some chaos when Susan Payne, the leader of
the Maryland Coalition for Immigration Reform, began to testify and
was barred by Vallario after he said he found what was going on to be
"offensive." . . .
Wanted Poster Riles Committee Hearing
March 13, 2008 - 8:47am
ANNAPOLIS - Fliers proclaiming House Judiciary Committee Chairman
Joseph Vallario, Jr., D-Prince George's, as "wanted for aiding and
abetting" illegal immigration were removed from a Tuesday evening
hearing after he took offense.
The fliers, which depict Vallario wearing an ornate, Mexican-style
sombrero, were denounced as racist by one legislator, but others
defended them as legitimate free speech.
Delegate Victor Ramirez, a Democrat from Prince George's County who
serves on the committee, said the flier was "blatant racism."
"I'm hurt that people would resort to this type of action rather than
talk about the issues like grownups," said Ramirez, who was born in El
Salvador. "The true colors of some of the bills' proponents came out
Vallario brushed off the episode a day later but was visibly angry
during Tuesday's hearing about several immigration-related bills.
After ordering the fliers removed, Vallario chided Delegates Warren
Miller, R-Howard, and Patrick McDonough, R-Baltimore County, telling
them they were fortunate he was even hearing their immigration-related
"We don't accept literature that tries to intimidate or harass
people," said Vallario, who is of Italian heritage, in an interview
But the Republican delegates, who both sponsored bills to prohibit
"sanctuary city" policies that bar local government employees and
police officers from asking someone's immigration status, said they
had nothing to do with the flier.
Susan Payne, a Montgomery County resident and executive director of
the Maryland Coalition for Immigration Reform, submitted the fliers
along with written testimony.
Payne said the poster was "tongue-in-cheek" political humor. But
after a six-hour wait to testify in support of bills that would target
illegal immigration, Payne was cut short in the midst of a heated
discussion with Vallario.
A security officer was called, but Payne escorted herself out after
refusing to answer committee members' questions because her "time was
"Maybe at the next election, you'll be voted out and your time will
be up," she yelled at Vallario as she was leaving.
In an interview Wednesday, Payne said she was cut off after trying to
repeat Vallario's statements to pro-immigrant advocates at a Feb. 25
Annapolis rally. A YouTube link to a video of Vallario at the rally
was printed on the wanted poster Payne distributed.
"Either he doesn't comprehend the First Amendment or he's ashamed of
his own pandering," she said.
Delegates Miller and McDonough said the flier was free political
speech protected under the First Amendment.
"This was essentially, to me, humorous with a cutting edge,"
McDonough said. "You've got to be careful? she felt angry by the fact
that she was being denied her free speech? and I think she was denied
Delegate Richard Impallaria, R-Baltimore County, a co-sponsor of
bills discussed in the hearing, shrugged the flier off as a joke.
"[Vallario] looks good in that picture," he said. "Look at that smile."
-30- CNS 03-12-08Copyright 2008 Capital News Service. All rights reserved.