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Carlsbad councilor apologizes after backlash to Facebook comment

Leonard Tapia
January 25, 2017 07:21 AM

A New Mexico elected official who wrote on Facebook that women have the “right to get slapped” apologized during a Carlsbad City Council meeting Tuesday after a firestorm of criticism.

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On Sunday, Carlsbad City Councilor J.R. Doporto also wrote on the social media platform that women have “a right to cook and a right to clean” and “I suggest you stop your b!tch!ing/protesting” during the NFL playoffs. Doporto said the post was intended to be a joke. Many people took offense to the comment.

Tuesday’s meeting marked the first time Doporto faced the people who elected him since the Sunday post. He started with an apology.

"I just want to every, um, all my constituents here in Carlsbad, um, sorry if I have offended anybody," Doporto said.

“I simply woke up Sunday morning and posted a comment on my Facebook that I didn't think was going to bother people the way that it did,” he continued.

Doporto said violence is no laughing matter. In the crowded council chambers, women lined up to speak and wanted Doporto to know just how he made them feel.

"I consider these statements about a woman's place in the home and making light of domestic abuse to be both oppressive and offensive,” said Shannon Summers, who lives in Carlsbad.

Others in the crowd had a different message: one of forgive-and-forget.

“I can understand people being offended and OK, you're offended,” Richard Williams said.

Kristie Thomas, the Eddy County Democratic Party Chair, had some words for Doporto as well.

“Unfortunately, private comments and private beliefs and thoughts were heard in the public and they are being considered a horrible misrepresentation of our city,” she said. “Many people have expressed to me that they would like to see him resign.”

However, Doporto says he has no plans to do so.

“I will think about, for some of you um, that um, want me to consider um, stepping down. Um, I’ll think about doing that in about a year and a half.”

A petition was started for Doporto to resign. It has more than 2,000 signatures as of Tuesday night.

Credits

Leonard Tapia

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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