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Rick Perry Demands Apology Over Sacramento Bee’s Political Cartoon

Ronald Martinez, Getty Images

So, what do you take from this political cartoon?

Click here to see The Sacramento Bee’s cartoon in question.

Is this cartoon that I found on The Sacramento Bee actually mocking the tragic explosion at the fertilizer plant in West, Texas? Are they laughing about the loss of life? Is this making light of the devastation of people’s lives, loss of their houses and schools, and for some, the loss of their livelihood?

Of course, the cartoonist is taking a jab at Texas Governor Perry, saying he and other Texas Republicans are for low regulations. But really!? This crosses the line — WAY past the line!

As Texans, and Americans, are we going to put up with this? Personally, I think this is unacceptable and I feel strongly about the innuendo of this “so-called” cartoon. There is nothing funny about lives lost and the horror that the people of West, Texas experienced. And using such a horrific tragedy to fuel political debate is just downright wrong.

Here is the letter Texas Gov. Rick Perry sent to the Bee:

Re “Business is booming in Texas” (Editorial cartoon, April 25): It was with extreme disgust and disappointment I viewed your recent cartoon. While I will always welcome healthypolicy debate, I won’t stand for someone mocking the tragic deaths of my fellow Texans and our fellow Americans.

Additionally, publishing this on the very day our state and nation paused to honor and mourn those who died only compounds the pain and suffering of the many Texans who lost family and friends in this disaster. The Bee owes the community of West, Texas an immediate apology for your detestable attempt at satire.

Here is the response from the Bee’s editorial page editor, Stuart Leavenworth:

Jack Ohman’s cartoon of April 25 made a strong statement about Gov. Rick Perry’s disregard for worker safety, and his attempts to market Texas as a place where industries can thrive with few regulations. It is unfortunate that Gov. Perry, and some on the blogosphere, have attempted to interpret the cartoon as being disrespectful of the victims of this tragedy. As Ohman has made clear on his blog, he has complete empathy for the victims and people living by the plant. What he finds offensive is a governor who would gamble with the lives of families by not pushing for the strongest safety regulations. Perry’s letter is an attempt to distract people from that message.

I, for one, am madder than a wet hen, and that’s why I’m writing the Sacramento Bee and the cartoonist, to tell them what I think. If you feel the same, click here for the cartoonist’s email, and join me in standing up to these haters! I realize the purpose of political cartoons are to get a rise out of people, and buddy it did! If the cartoonist really wanted to go after Gov. Perry and his policies, he easily could have found another way to do so. No excuses!

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