As Will Rogers once said, “when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.”
Freshman state Rep. Mike Clelland, D-Lake Mary, responded to a letter from fellow lawmaker Rep. Janet Adkins, R-Fernandina Beach, asking for a public apology over comments he made on the House floor Tuesday by issuing his own letter.
Adkins had put forth an amendment to SB 1410: Fire Safety and Prevention, which would establish a body mass index (BMI) requirement for fire fighters.
Clelland rose in opposition to the amendment, and, amidst gasps from the room, asked Adkins if she was aware “that females are notoriously, ugh.. that they carry a higher BMI than males?”
Clearly, Adkins took offense to the comment, writing: “Your disparagement of women and use of gender in debate was offensive. I believe that the women of Florida deserve the respect and dignity that should be afforded to all people regardless of race, creed or gender.”
It would seem that Clelland does not buy into the belief that discretion is the better part of valor, as he responded by saying, in effect, that he is offended that Adkins was offended.
Insisting that his comments were intended to protect all firefighters, including women, the first year lawmaker wrote that he “felt no need to apologize.”
“I feel no need to apologize for any comments made during debate, as they were factual, and intended to protect the men and women in fire service who would have been harmed by the language in your amendment,” Clelland stated in his response.
A copy of the letter in its entirety: