Imagine seeing this headline in your local paper, "Congressman who misses vote to attend mother's funeral criticized by opponent"
Regardless of your party affiliation, you'd probably shake your head.
I'm going to give Democrat Bog Roggio the benefit of the doubt here and assume that he was not aware of the circumstances before issuing a press release criticizing U.S. Rep Jim Gerlach, R-6th Dist., for missing a House vote last week. Nobody could be that callous.
From the Roggio release: "It is a shame that Jim Gerlach doesn't show up and work to find solutions to the problems that plague district residents day after day. We need a Representative who addresses the rising cost of gas, not a Representative who has taken over 90 thousand dollars in campaign contributions from Big Oil. While our Veterans struggle to find ways to pay for college, Jim Gerlach doesn't show up to vote. As Americans grapple with the very real possibility that the price of gas will top $4 per gallon this summer, Jim Gerlach sits out. As people deal with these everyday problems and hope for real solutions, the last thing we need are leaders who skip work."
Turns out that Rep. Gerlach's mother, Helen, died last Wednesday and the Congressman returned home to be with his family and attend the funeral. (My condolences to Rep. Jim Gerlach and his family for their loss.)
Josh Drobnyk at the Pennsylvania Ave. blog reported the embarrassing gaffe in a Monday afternoon post entitled, "Roggio hits Gerlach below the belt."
I know our politics become more personal and more partisan every day, but there is a line you don't cross. The Roggio campaign crossed that line today.
Mr. Roggio owes Rep. Gerlach an apology. He needs to make a personal apology to Gerlach and his campaign needs to issue a public apology as well.