Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Kline's Director Expected To Apologize For Racial Slurs

According to a Star Tribune reporter, the man Representative John Kline has entrusted to run his Congressional District office is expected to issue an apology soon for shouting racial slurs at a Coleen Rowley campaign event.

Rep. Kline's District Director Mike Osskopp apparently decided to make the apology after being contacted by the Star Tribune's Kevin Diaz about video posted on Inside Minnesota Politics. That video shows Osskopp repeatedly yelling a racial slur at cars entering a VFW parking lot.

Paul Bartlett, who was at the event has filed a complaint with the US Civil Rights Commission. (Osskopp is a Federal employee.) Bartlett's complaint says in part:

Michael Osskopp speaks for a United States congressman. His behavior and language was clearly racist. At a minimum, Mr. Osskopp and Congressman Kline owe our Japanese community an apology, a promise to undergo sensitivity training, and a real effort to eradicate the racial animosity that seems evident in John Kline's office. Politics aside, we expect more from a high level federal employee and his boss, a U.S. Congressman.

Kline's Communication Director Troy Young issued a "no comment" when asked about the incident or apology.

Inside Minnesota Politics has obtained additional video from that same Sunday event that shows Osskopp and others harrassing Rowley volunteers. One man who identified himself only as "David" is pictured here. He was using a megaphone to yell at Rowley volunteers who were helping to direct traffic into the VFW parking lot.


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