U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman needs to apologize to Rep. Howard Berman over more than a physical act of aggression against his opponent during an Oct. 11 campaign forum in the San Fernando Valley congressional district they are contesting. Such conduct, even during a heated political campaign, is never acceptable.
Brad Sherman also needs to apologize over his false claim that prompted the altercation: That Howard Berman didn't author the DREAM Act, offering relief from deportation to the children of immigrants who were brought to this country when they were young. As Rep. Luis Gutierrez tweeted, " It is a matter of public record that Howard Berman wrote the DREAM Act and I am a cosponsor." In fact, Rep. Berman has been a stalwart decades-long champion of farm workers and Latinos, including his key role in bringing the United Farm Workers and the nation's agricultural industry together to negotiate the historic, bipartisan and broadly backed AgJobs immigration reform bill.
NBC's Today Show reported that Rep. "Sherman put his arm around rival Representative Berman, yanked him to his chest and challenged him to a fight saying 'Do you want to get into this?' A police officer actually had to jump in there and separate the two."
Behavior like this is unbecoming of an elected public official. “All of us involved in the Farm Worker Movement want to tell Brad Sherman that we were shocked by his physical display of violence and want to remind him of Cesar Chavez's lifelong commitment to nonviolent civil discourse,” said Arturo S. Rodriguez, president of the United Farm Workers.
A delegation of farm workers, DREAM Act students and residents of the San Fernando Valley will go to Brad Sherman's campaign office today to request that Rep. Sherman commit himself to nonviolent civil discourse during the remainder of the campaign season. Can you join them virtually by signing the petition they will hand in to Representative Sherman next week?