Archive for Friday, March 25, 2011

Statehouse Live: Groups deliver petitions calling for Peck’s resignation

Florentino Camacho, a former state director of the League of United Latin American Citizens, tells a member of Gov. Sam Brownback's staff that he fears state Rep. Virgil Peck's comments about immigrants will incite violence. Hispanic advocates delivered petitions calling for Peck's ouster in response to the Tyro Republican's comment about shooting illegal immigrants.

March 25, 2011, 1:13 p.m. Updated March 25, 2011, 1:31 p.m.


— A group of Hispanic advocates on Friday delivered to the Statehouse petitions signed by nearly 60,000 people, calling for state Rep. Virgil Peck, R-Tyro, to resign from office for his remarks about shooting illegal immigrants.

Florentino Camacho, a former state director of the League of United Latin American Citizens, holds a sign during a news conference Friday at the Capitol. Representatives from several Hispanic groups delivered petitions to Gov. Sam Brownback and House Speaker Mike O'Neal, R-Hutchinson, calling for the resignation of state Rep. Virgil Peck, R-Tyro, who caused a national uproar with recent remark about illegal immigrants.

Florentino Camacho, a former state director of the League of United Latin American Citizens, holds a sign during a news conference Friday at the Capitol. Representatives from several Hispanic groups delivered petitions to Gov. Sam Brownback and House Speaker Mike O'Neal, R-Hutchinson, calling for the resignation of state Rep. Virgil Peck, R-Tyro, who caused a national uproar with recent remark about illegal immigrants.

Members of the group said they feared Peck's comment could incite violence against Hispanics and said Gov. Sam Brownback and House Speaker Mike O'Neal, both Republicans, should insist Peck step down.

Last week, Peck, during a committee discussion about a program that controls the feral hog problem by shooting them from helicopters, said, “It looks like to me, that if shooting these immigrating feral hogs works, maybe we have found a (solution) to our illegal immigration problem.”

The comment caused a national uproar. Peck initially refused to apologize but then issued a two-sentence apology, saying his statement was “regrettable.”

Many organizations said Peck’s apology didn’t go far enough and that he should resign. Peck has refused, and House Republican leaders have said they have accepted Peck’s apology. O'Neal has said Peck's comments were a "personnel matter" and that he wouldn't discuss it further., a national online advocacy group for Latinos, coordinated an online petition drive calling for Peck’s resignation. The drive had more than 58,000 signers.

Guadalupe Magdaleno of Wichita appeared Friday at a news conference on the Capitol steps. She said Peck's comments could "put wrong ideas in sick minds."

The group of 10 people then delivered a box of petitions to the offices of Brownback and O'Neal.

In Brownback's office, Florentino Camacho of Kansas City, Kan. told one of Brownback's staffers, "We want him (Peck) fired. He is putting our lives, our kids' lives, and our wives' lives and our families in jeopardy," said Camacho, a former state director for the League of United Latin American Citizens. "I have grandkids. I'm afraid a crazy person is going to hurt them."

No one was present in O'Neal's office when the group tried to deliver the petitions there.

Myrna Orozco, an undocumented immigrant from Kansas City, Kan. said of Peck,"While he might have thought that this dehumanizing joke was funny, we do not believe that the genocide of children, mothers and fathers is funny."

Lalo Munoz, head of the Latino Information Network of Kansas, said, of Peck's remark, "Those comments have no place in Kansas political discourse."

Democratic leaders in the Legislature have also called for Peck's resignation. Peck has said he will not resign and has refused to talk further about the issue.


keith manies 4 years ago

Rep. Virgil Peck has made a mockery out of the state of Kansas, just like the Westboro Baptist Church does every time they show up for a funeral. Mr. Peck needs to find another line of work where his racist and ignorant remarks don't have the potential to hurt so many people!

Clara Westphal 4 years ago

Where is Peck's freedom of speech? Remember the court system ruled in favor of the Phelps group.

If you travel to southern Kansas, you will find that Peck is right. The people there do not want illegals in their part of the world.

pace 4 years ago

He has freedom of speech, Has he been jailed? He spoke as a state official, during state business, on state house grounds. He has a standard of responsibility, as others that dipped below the standard, it is only reasonable he resign. You can say close to any thing you want, if you say it in my house you might be asked to leave. If you say it as a spokes person for your employer you would be fired. If you say something to your wife, she might leave you, take the kids and get a restraining order. Yes there is freedom of speech, yes there are consequences for what you say. He should resign.

ivalueamerica 4 years ago

westcl, you have no idea of the concept of the protections of freedom of speech. You, for example are free to be ignorant of the true meaning of the law and the Constitution, but that does NOT mean that if you express your ignorance, that we are then not free to call you ignorant or free to hold you accountable for being ignorant on our dime as our taxes pay his salary.

jhawkinsf 4 years ago

It seems to me that the petitions should have been delivered to Mr. Peck himself and that he should have made it a point to be there to receive it. It would have given the two sides the opportunity to discuss his comments and the context in which they were made. It's best when reasonable people sit down together and discuss their differences and perhaps find common ground.

jafs 4 years ago


But somebody who would make a "joke" like that isn't going to be somebody who can discuss things reasonably, in my view.

What possible context could there be that would excuse a joke in such poor taste?

JayCat_67 4 years ago

The "joke" was bad enough, but then his attitude afterward... Like the Phelps Klan and "Intelligent Design" Kansas is once again in the national spotlight. He's an embarrassment to the state. (Like we need any more)

CardHawkFan 4 years ago

You have to understand where Peck comes from where the local school still condones physical discipline, albeit they have to call the child's parents first for approval (still absurd). Wait a you don't. I am from southern Kansas and although I think there could be a better solution to our current immigration tactics, there should never be a situation where violent actions should be suggested as a means to solve a problem on potentially innocent people. Take a hike buddy! I'm signing that petition!

pocket_of_sunshine 4 years ago

"Myrna Orozco, an undocumented immigrant from Kansas City, Kan. said of Peck,"While he might have thought that this dehumanizing joke was funny, we do not believe that the genocide of children, mothers and fathers is funny."

Undocumented immigrant...shouldn't she have been arrested while she was there?

JayCat_67 4 years ago

Well, if Mr. Peck had his way, no, she shouldn't have been arrested.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years ago

"I feel like inciting violence whenever."

There, fixed it for you.

ivalueamerica 4 years ago

Tom, once again you are a filthy liar.

I am against illegal immigration and this rhetoric has nothing to do with that and you know it.

Why must you lie? Is it simply in your blood? Was it how you were raised?

What the heck is wrong with you?

JayCat_67 4 years ago

You mean you actually made enough sense of his comment to determine that it's a lie? All I got out of it was the same discombobulated crap he's always spewing.

question4u 4 years ago

Peck is an enormous embarrassment, but it's clear that he doesn't even comprehend the problem with his words. His tight lipped apology probably did more damage than his initial comments. Every day that he stays in office strengthens the impression that the majority of members of the Kansas House think that this should just be allowed to blow over.

Then there are those who have actually defended Peck's comments. They should be heartily congratulated for their help in promoting Brownback's plan to repopulate Kansas counties and to attract new businesses to the state. There's nothing like airing your dirty laundry to make people want to come and live next door.

zcks 4 years ago

While his remarks were uncalled for & racist it is very true that the majority of the people in Kansas do not want more illegals in their state. We have a bad enough unemployment rate among citizens as it is without people coming here & taking jobs they have no right to anyway.

Beyond the cost of jobs there is also the massive cost of schooling & hospital care that these people & there children receive for free. Given that the school & hospital conditions are already poor we should not be spending even more taking care of these people.

One way this could be handled is by making a law that states at least one parent must be a legal citizen for the child to become one if born here. As far as developed countries go we & Canada are the only ones who do not require a measure like this.

Combine this with real military action against the cartels on their home turf & we should see things start to get better both here & in Mexico.

strongarmcrunch 4 years ago

No one complained with Bush Sr. hauled in nearly 400 Iraqis and Iranians in the 80's.

ursulabirtha 4 years ago

Everyday that goes by that this guy sits in office makes me think that Brownback and the other Kansas representitives also share this ignorant mans ideas. The US is watching and Kansas looks like it is full of stupid people like the Westboro folks and this jackass. Thanks Gov. Brownback, way to man up.

4getabouit 4 years ago

Peck is just another redneck coward who continually references using guns rather than rational and civil discussion. He thinks he is some kind of cowboy.

pace 4 years ago

I know cowboys, real cowboys. They don't joke about shooting people from helicopters. Last night I heard one joking about roping politicians.

pace 4 years ago

The punch line of how many lasso would it take to rope a politician? No use, they are too slippery.

question4u 4 years ago

The petition was mentioned in an AP story that appeared in the New York Times today. How long is Peck going to drag Kansas through the mud? If he isn't honorable enough to step down on his own isn't there anyone with enough influence over his feeble mind to convince him that it would be the right thing to do?

strongarmcrunch 4 years ago

He words have clearly indicated that he is stupid. I blame the GOP if he remains.

The GOP can no longer be claiming Pro-life interests if they don't take action against this man, for it will clearly show their pro-life interests are merely a political ploy and not to be taken with heart and seriousness.

yourworstnightmare 4 years ago

This has nothing to do with the issue of illegal immigration.

It has to do with embarrassing and disgraceful comments made by an elected representative of this state.

By saying this is about illegal immigration places Peck's comments in the realm of "cures" for illegal immigration, which is much worse than just a stupid, unprofessional, disgraceful "joke".

Peck made his murderous joke while conducting official business of the state. He has disgraced his office, his district, and the State of Kansas.

Virgil Peck should resign. Sign the petition on line here:

strongarmcrunch 4 years ago

NOt only that, he is the head of the Budgetary committee. You know where he is not going to want to put our tax dollars.

It was indeed a totally murderous joke, pre-meditated in a most sour manner.

Lawrence Morgan 4 years ago

Virgil Peck is disgusting. And as for the residents of southern Kansas who don't want new immigrants in their midst, what about their taking the land from the Indians many years ago? Or does that not count? By that count, they should be run off the land and the land given back to Indians, who were there before.

strongarmcrunch 4 years ago

I always feel that there were here first, those south of the border and those now horribly stuck on reservations, a culture very nearly wiped out by the atrocious actions of Western Civilization.

I hate ancient Rome.

strongarmcrunch 4 years ago

If he doesn't step down, or if the GOP doesn't force him out, then it is time to hit the capital steps in massive numbers.

What Peck has said, what he has thought, should never be allowed in any legislator.

jhawkinsf 4 years ago

Since an on-line petition has no legal authority to remove Mr. Peck, wouldn't a better way to force him out of office be to go to his district and ask residents to sign a recall petition? A recall petition has the force of law behind it.

Jimo 4 years ago

Let's see.

Some Libyan tool wants to commit genocide and the world springs to action.

Some Kansas hillbilly wants to commit genocide and his buddies think he's hilarious.

parco814 4 years ago

Illegal or not, undocumented or not, the typical immigrant from Mexico or elsewhere in Latin America does more good on a daily basis for the United States and its people than Virgil Peck and his defenders ever have or ever will.

I'm not saying that's a fact, it's my opinion, and I stand by it.

Flap Doodle 4 years ago

In other recent news: "Thirteen illegal immigrants disguised themselves as U.S. Marines –- donning battle dress uniforms and caps -- in a failed attempt to get through a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint last week east of San Diego, authorities said.

The driver of the white van carrying the immigrants and another man, both U.S. citizens, were arrested March 14 at the I-8 checkpoint near Campo and charged with alien smuggling, according to U.S. Border Patrol officials.

Three of the illegal immigrants were detained as witnesses, while the rest were returned to Mexico, officials said.

The van drew suspicion in part because it had an altered U.S. Government license plate, authorities said. The investigation is being conducted by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

The immigrants all had Marine-style haircuts and the name tag "Perez" on the their camouflage uniforms, U.S. Marine Corps officials said.

Such ploys have a long history along the border. Over the years, immigrants have disguised themselves as hard-hatted contractors and utility repairmen, and smugglers have painted and placed decals on cars to look like Border Patrol or other government vehicles.

-- Richard Marosi and Tony Perry in San Diego"

JayCat_67 4 years ago

Actually, I've heard about this from another source that I trust. However, it really has nothing to do with the issue at hand.

ivalueamerica 4 years ago

it should be noted that more illegal immigrants have been deported so far under the Obama administration than were deported during the entire Bush administration.

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