Newtown's State Rep Tells Gabby Giffords to 'Stay Out'

The Republican lawmaker who represents Newtown in the Connecticut House of Representatives had some less than cordial words for former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who came to meet with grieving families last Friday.

"Gabby Gifford (sic) stay out of my towns!!" DebraLee Hovey wrote in a now-deleted Facebook post, which she filed while on vacation in St. Pete Beach.

(re: "towns," Hovey also represents the town of Monroe.)

In response to obvious criticism for her impolitic remarks, Hovey retorted that Giffords' visit "was political," and "ALL political types KNOW it is courteous to let sitting Reps know when another political is in their District."

Hovey eventually realized that it might not be the best idea to publicly attack a mass shooting victim for visiting the families of mass shooting victim, so she set her Facebook to private and released the following statement:

The remarks I made regarding Congresswoman Gifford's visit were insensitive and if I offended anyone I truly apologize ... My comments were meant to be protective of the privacy of the families and our community as we work to move on, and were in no way intended as an insult to Congresswoman Giffords personally. Our community has struggled greatly through this tragedy, and we are all very sensitive to the potential for this event to be exploited for political purposes. This is what I wish to avoid.

While this could have been considered a legitimate concern on Hovey's part, as The Atlantic Wire notes, her "privacy defense" falls apart in light of the facts: Giffords meeting with families was private, whereas Hovey's denunciation was not.

[images via Hartford Courant, CBIA]