US Rep. Castor speaks about AZ tragedy and shooting of colleague Gabrielle Giffords

01/10/11 Kate Bradshaw
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Two days after the Arizona shooting that killed six and wounded twelve, including Democratic US Representative Gabrielle Giffords, officials and the media are trying to make sense of what happened. One Tampa Bay area member of Congress took a moment from her first scheduled appearance since the massacre to reflect on her colleague and the political climate many believe spawned the tragedy.

As US Representative Gabrielle Giffords lies in an Arizona hospital bed wounded from a pointblank gunshot to the head, pundits are trying to assign meaning to Saturday’s violence. Today, US Representative Kathy Castor, who holds similar views as Giffords on issues like health care reform, called her a dedicated public servant.

"Congresswoman Giffords is a wonderful person. She is such an outgoing model Member of Congress, just someone that has worked hard every day for her constituents."

Castor said she and Giffords flew back to their respective districts Friday evening, and that Giffords was out among constituents first thing the next morning.

"Congresswoman Giffords got back to Tucson, Arizona probably late at night on Friday evening but she was out first thing in the morning, out meeting with her constituents at the local grocery store where she had "Congress On Your Corner". I just wanted to make the point that she is such a wonderful person and we just pray for her speedy recovery."

Giffords was holding an event outside a local grocery store when a man opened fire on the gathering. Police have charged twenty-two year old Jared Loughner on counts that included attempted assassination on a member of Congress. Many believe the act was inspired by increasingly violent tone of political discourse in the US. Castor said it’s time to be civil.

"We've got to improve the civil discourse throughout this great country and in our communities. We have to share with others that this inflamed political rhetoric is wrong and we need to call it out."

Her comments come after the media noted that Representative Giffords had become a target of tea party activists. At a 2009 event similar to the one scheduled for Saturday, a man waving a sign that read “Don’t Tread on Me” reportedly dropped a pistol on the ground. After Giffords voted for health care reform in March, a protester shattered a window at her district office. Today at an event to highlight Earned Income Tax Credit, Castor stressed the importance of bipartisanship, and praised local officials for being able to look past political differences.

"We really try to, in this community, all work together, never let the political rhetoric get so heated that we lose sight of what's important and that's working for the people: small businesses, and families, and retirees throughout our community."

Castor is no stranger to the volatile political climate that has been brewing over the past two years. In the summer of 2009 she held a town hall meeting in Ybor City on health care reform. The meeting erupted into shouting and shoving, and Castor left early, reportedly at the suggestion of state representative Betty Reed. Castor did not indicate whether she would boost her own security, but said anyone in public service needs to be careful.

"I think everyone has to be aware, if you're in public service or you're a teacher in the classroom, or you're a nurse in the hospital."

Meanwhile, doctors say Representative Giffords remains in critical condition after a brain surgery. They say she's stable and is responsive to doctors. Among the six killed in Saturday’s rampage were a federal judge and a nine-year-old girl.

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Blame the 1st amendment???

I love the new program changes and can’t wait to see the cuts in staff… I suggest you start with the news department.

News department is great

Need I say more? Keep up the good work.

perfect timing

What a ridiculous, pathetic non-sequiter comment, Glen. Your responnse is a perfect example of the disconnect that Republican politicians have shown for what most Americans consider to be a national tragedy............."What the Right Gains From Poisoning Our Political Discourse and Inspiring Violence"

I agree

I agree. WMNF is digging its own grave. Good riddance.

Get a life

Glenn Pendergrass needs a hobby.


I almost feel bad for those who come here to make immature, unintelligent comments, and obviously non constructive criticism. Almost...they obviously have nothing better to do.

Progressives show no bias

This rush for a self-proclaimed diagnosis and treatment in the killing in Tucson and the progressive's analysis of the killer's affliation with various associations was quite distrubing but not a surprise. May I add that to assume WMNF or its self-proclaimed progressive listerners be somehow devoid of bias or lack complicity in their vindication of logic would be folly. I would submit to the audience as purely conjecture, had the intent of this shooting been solely religious and time will tell, the arena of disjointed logic would have rendered the horrific event passe, and would we then find fault with extreme right and extreme left's loathing toward Congresswoman Gifford's religion, I think not. I will leave you with the Beltway sniper attacks, 10 people were killed, criminal experts stating the crimes are characteristic of a white male, later revealing that this hedious crime was committed by two black males leaving a tarot death card at one scene inscribed "dear policeman, I am GOD", to the listerners of WMNF I hope that someday I will never be judged by my peers, very scary.


I have yet to see anyone suggest that this shooting had any religious zealotry involved. I belong to a forum site where this has been a very hot topic since the shooting happened, and even the wing nuts we have there have not made that connection. The conversation we are having refers to the "target" that Sarah Palin's website placed over Rep. Giffords district and the pushback against gun control which is a possible outcome of the overall reaction to the tragedy. There is one other factor that goes with the inflamed right wing rhetoric, and that is intimidation. This story hit the wires a short time ago:......... The sole black Republican Party district chairman in Arizona resigned from his post in the wake of Saturday's shooting, citing threats from the Tea Party faction and concerns for his family's safety, The Arizona Republic first reported.

The devil made him do it….

Yeah… religious zealotry… that’s the ticket!!! A skull and rotten orange shrine… sitting in a camouflage tent with ceremonial candles and a bag-o-dirt next to it… ... And let’s not forget the Westboro Baptists getting a message from GOD about the shooting and planning to pay their respects… ... I’m pretty sure we can make a nominal case for religious zealotry.


a black guy did it!

Please use discretion

TG, please stop promoting your forum here on the WMNF blog. It's bad manners and you do it almost every time you post. Thank you.

open your eyes

I didn't post a link to the forum I belong to, I posted links to articles since the wingnuts here would prefer to be uninformed. I'll post a link to the forum as I see fit, since there are people who might be interested in actual discussion. Again, if the topic isn't of interest to you, go somewhere else. We're dealing with a crisis, you're knee deep in agenda.

4 Republicans resign due to threats

All four members of Arizona District 20's GOP resigned due to Tea Party threats. HERE'S THE LINK:.......... IS A PARTIAL summary:..............Fearing tea party violence, four Arizona Republicans resign By David Edwards Wednesday, January 12th, 2011 District 20 Republican Secretary Sophia Johnson, first vice chairman Roger Dickinson, former district spokesman Jeff Kolb also followed Miller's lead and quit. "This singular focus on 'getting' Anthony (Miller) was one of the main reasons I chose to resign," Kolb reportedly wrote to another party activist."......It could probably be argued that the Tea Party activists are demonstrating the racism they've been accused of since Mr. Miller is black. That brings back memories of the intimidation tactics used by the KKK during the 60's, and should be of concern to most WMNF listeners.

If cross-hairs therefore murder

The assumption is that Mr. Loughner knew of the cross-hairs and therefore acted on them, is somewhat cosmic to think that people at this point can read the mind of an individual when he does not speak. Since he is not speaking to authorities as to his motives, forenics point to an individual that psychiatrists at this seminal moment of the investigation have labled him as a schizophrenic. The progressive media, I will use that reference with liberty, has given the public a formula of intent to the murder, if cross-hairs therefore murder. To interpret the comment a black man did the killing is not worthy of my time. Obviously one had a difficult time grasping the just of the inner anaylsis or lack of intent and attempting to profile intent of my statement not the skin color of the individual. A simplistic analogy may be that environmentalists influence hoarders by subliminal messages. To assume the readings of Mein Kampf and Communist Manifesto be a preamble for the religious intent, lets see how that plays out. I could easily make an association of religious intent in the operative of the murder, but then again, that is what many listerners at WMNF and MSM have attempted with their cross-hair association. Far be it for me to be at the level of the progressive mantra.

The 60's are long gone...

TG… we don’t have to go back 50 years to find evidence of racially based voter intimidation… ...why shouldn't this be of concern to most WMNF listeners???

Selective Vitriol Reported Here

After hearing Rob Lorei claim words to the effect that MSNBC didn't air vitriol and he didn't agree liberals talked the same way as conservatives did, I sent him this email. He responded, "feel free to post this on our website", so I will. Since then he has begrudgingly acknowledged Sheriff Dupnik did name Rush Limbaugh as one that uses vitriolic rhetoric and reported on Kanjorski's shoot Scott rant. He also requested soundbites which I am unable to provide. Seems his skills at creating them himself desert him when it comes to liberal vitriol. Maybe he's too busy lining up more syndicated talk to fill the airwaves of WMNF or preparing for his WEDU appearance. The best I can do is to provide links at the bottom to hear for yourself that the right is not the only wing spouting inflammatory hate filled rhetoric........................... Rob Lorei, Firstly, do not let my nom de guerre confuse you. It's only used to invoke interest to the topic and response. I actually have no appreciation for either Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity. I find their shows to be totally a one sided reflection of right wing opinion. No different really than what is heard on your station and show. Just favoring the left wing agenda. The past two days catching parts of your call in segments you have demonstrated that very well. The effort was made by you to twice play a montage from Thom Hartman to exemplify vitriolic talk from conservative commentators, talkers and politicians. You provide no examples of liberal vitriol and deny it's true they indeed do talk in the same way. A misrepresentation was made of what Sheriff Dupnik has said. Work responsibilities prevent me from calling to enlighten you and your listeners. Can't put together clips as you requested from two callers. Instead, plenty of examples will have to suffice. Report or ignore them as you see fit. I won't hold my breath on any of the following being broadcast by you or your station : Ed Schultz (MSNBC) - "And I'm inviting the drug-ridden scumbag, Rush Limbaugh, on The Ed Show to debate me on any topic! He won't do it because he's a drug addict and he's a coward, a complete coward. Plus he probably couldn't hear me if he was on The Ed Show. ...C'mon you fat pig. Let's get it on. I'm getting ratings without you. Hell, I'm doing you a favor. C'mon, Rush! Let's get it on! Get out of your compound down there. Get away from your drugs. Go see the doctor and get some hearing." “Look, Democrats, I’m your best friend. I’ve been across the country. I’ve taken thousands of e-mails. Our team works 16 hours a day. We do a TV and a radio show. I’m trying to tell you what the hell’s going on! But you sit back! And Harry [Reid], you are ball-less. You won’t do the nuke option for the American people and shove the Republicans into the ditch. Shove those bastards right into the dirt-hole. This is about power. It’s about winning. It’s about saving American lives.” I want to kick Fox's ass! I want to drive them into the ground! I want to spike the ball! I want to kick 'em in the teeth on the way back to the huddle! And then I want to turn around and lift my leg on 'em! Mike Malloy (Progressive Radio) - Radio host Mike Malloy (a onetime news writer for CNN) wished for Rush Limbaugh’s demise on January 4, 2010, a few days after the conservative host was hospitalized for chest pains: “I’m waiting for the day when I pick it up, pick up a newspaper or click on the Internet and find out he’s choked to death on his own throat fat or a great big wad of saliva or something, you know, whatever. Go away, Rush, you make me sick!”" "You rat bastards are going to cause another Murrah federal building explosion," said Malloy. "Maybe at that point Beck will do the honorable thing and blow his brains out." " Maybe at that point, Limbaugh will do the honorable thing and just gobble up enough - enough Viagra that he becomes absolutely rigid and keels over dead." "Maybe then O'Reilly will just drink a vat of that poison he spews out on America every night and choke to death." Antonia Zerbisias (CBC Toronto Star) - An April 2009 Twitter message that read, "Forget the Marxists, I wish the marksmen would take @MichelleMalkin. I'm thinking Dick Cheney. He's such a good shot." Charles Karel Bouley (KGO The Advocate) - “I hear about Tony Snow and say to myself, well, stand up every day, lie to the American people at the behest of your dictator-esque boss and well, how could a cancer NOT grow in you. Work for Fox News, spinning the truth in to a billion knots and how can your gut not rot?” Randi Rhodes (Air America) - A "humor bit" from her show."A spoiled child (Bush) is telling us our Social Security isn't safe anymore, so he is going to fix it for us. Well, here's your answer, you ungrateful whelp: [audio sound of 4 gunshots being fired.] Just try it, you little b*stard. [audio of gun being cocked]." Montel Williams (Air America) - In 2009, then-Air America radio host Montel Williams urged Congresswoman Michele Bachmann to kill herself: “Slit your wrist! Go ahead! I mean, you know, why not? I mean, if you want to — or, you know, do us all a better thing. Move that knife up about two feet. I mean, start right at the collarbone.” Michael Feingold (Village Voice) - "Republicans don't believe in the imagination, partly because so few of them have one, but mostly because it gets in the way of their chosen work, which is to destroy the human race and the planet. Human beings, who have imaginations, can see a recipe for disaster in the making; Republicans, whose goal in life is to profit from disaster and who don't give a hoot about human beings, either can't or won't. Which is why I personally think they should be exterminated before they cause any more harm. ex-Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) - According to the Scranton Times, Kanjorski said this on October 23rd. "That Scott down there that's running for governor of Florida," Mr. Kanjorski said. "Instead of running for governor of Florida, they ought to have him and shoot him. Put him against the wall and shoot him. He stole billions of dollars from the United States government and he's running for governor of Florida. He's a millionaire and a billionaire. He's no hero. He's a damn crook. It's just we don't prosecute big crooks." Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik (D-Az) - "The vitriolic rhetoric that we hear day in and day out from people in the radio business and some people in the TV business … This has not become the nice United States that most of us grew up in.” Later (Monday) he said "The kind of rhetoric that flows from people like Rush Limbaugh, in my judgment he is irresponsible, uses partial information, sometimes wrong information," "[Limbaugh] attacks people, angers them against government, angers them against elected officials and that kind of behavior in my opinion is not without consequences." In no way does any of this excuse the hate filled rhetoric coming from the right. Just proves it's not exclusive to them as reported. As I said, you may choose to ignore this small sample of the vitriol coming from the left. If so, it will only reaffirm my belief you only report and discuss what furthers your agenda. Just as the right wing blabbermouths do. Also I find it revealing having just read the listener survey results that close to 30% admit to the Daily Show as being their main source for news and information (other than WMNF). That explains a lot about your callers. Glad to be of assistance, Rush Hannity Republican candidate in the crosshairs. In AZ no less.


Good post, Rush. it's about time the truth got out. Rob Lorei always claims to be neutral but he's anything but.


Hay… Ms. Castor… the next time you run into Rep. Gordon Hinze (Dem. Wisconsin)… remind him that… "We've got to improve the civil discourse throughout this great country and in our communities. We have to share with others that this inflamed political rhetoric is wrong and we need to call it out." And why haven’t you come out in support of your colleague… Michelle Litjens??? Hypocrites…