The Colorado Republican Party has deleted and apologized for posting pictures of State Rep. Dominique Jackson (D-Aurora) with her eyes closed at her desk on the statehouse floor.
The caption declared Jackson to be “In search of the American Dream,” but it failed to mention her serious health condition: lung clots which require her to receive regular IV infusions of white blood cells.
Her condition and the post itself were first reported via Twitter by KRCC radio’s Bente Birkeland.
Republican Party spokesman Daniel Cole apologized to the Representative on Twitter, writing “I’m the one who made the offending post. Upon learning of Rep. Jackson’s condition, I immediately removed it. I apologize to her for having shared the pictures in the first place.”
A 9News story by Brandon Rittiman also quoted Cole:
“Reached by telephone state GOP spokesman Daniel Cole said he “wasn’t aware” of Jackson’s medical issues. He said the post’s wording was meant to be light-hearted and that he “wouldn’t have made that comment” if he had been aware of her condition, which is why he removed the post this morning.”
Cole posted the images around 3:00 pm on Monday. Within the hour, several commenters had noted her health condition.
Other commenters, however, were less concerned about the Representative’s health.
Still others chose to make racially charged statements referencing Africa and calling the Representative as a welfare recipient.
Joining in the comment frenzy was El Paso County Republican Chairman Joshua Hosler, who compared Rep. Jackson to 85 year-old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg, who notoriously fell asleep during a State Of The Union speech.
None of these comments were removed from the post. Some remained up for eighteen hours, being removed only when Colorado GOP spokesman Cole deleted the post entirely.
Daniel Cole was right to apologize and to delete the post. No apology was forthcoming, though, for the dozens of cruel and insulting statements hosted on the state Republican Facebook page for nearly a day. During this time, two new posts appeared on the page. Political Facebook can be a mean place and page administrators like Cole aren’t expected to spend every waking minute scanning their post comments for hate, but personal and racial insults levied at an elected official and colleague of the Colorado GOP’s own members shouldn’t ever be tolerated.