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.