State Rep. Bob Godfrey is having a difficult week...
The State Representative for downtown Danbury has been placed on the defensive this week after making an ill-advised comment at a candidates forum last month in which he called cities, "dumping grounds for poor and ethnic minorities."
Godfrey's opponent, Emanuela Palmares, expressed outrage and offense over the his remark while others have have been more blunt with their anger with one critic labeling Godfrey as a "racist and elitist."
As Godfrey continues to attempt to dig himself out of the hole he made for himself, new questions have been raised about comments the State Rep. made about his opposition to granting undocumented immigrants drivers licenses that seem to contradict themselves.
Although Godfrey represents downtown Danbury, an area in which a majority of the city's poor and immigrant population reside, as The Vote Smart Project correctly notes, in recent years, the district's long term Representative and Deputy Speaker has voted against every major immigrant-related bills that has come before the State House of Representatives.
Godfrey opponent in his re-election bid, Emanuela Palmares, has been highly critical of Godfrey stating that he has not represented the interests of residents in downtown Danbury and at a meeting with the editorial board of The News-Times Palmares challenged Godfrey on his anti-immigration record:
"But Palmares challenged Godfrey for being on the wrong side of three legislative issues she said were important to Latinos:
The decision to cut funding for teaching English as a second language from the state education aid formula.
The decision to grant driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants.
The decision to allow college-age children of undocumented immigrants the option to pay in-state tuition.
“We have a district that is diverse not only in its ethnicity but diverse in its economic background, and its education, and all these issues need to be taken into consideration,” Palmares said. “And if Mr. Godfrey was truly out there knocking on doors and talking to every resident, I can assure you his voting record would have looked a lot different.”
In defending his vote against allowing undocumented immigrants driver licenses, State Rep. Godfrey said the following to the newspaper's editorial board:
Godfrey defended that record, saying he and the other members of Danbury’s delegation voted in the minority against the driver’s license for undocumented immigrants, in part over a concern the licenses could be misused to register to vote."
During Godfrey's appearance on WCSU's news show Election Connection on Tuesday night, when the topic of licenses undocumented immigrants and voting came up, the State Rep. appeared to directly contradict statements he made to the Newstimes Editorial board.
Looks like Godfrey is trying to have it both ways. In one breath, he states to the Newstimes editorial board that he voted against the granting licenses to undocumented immigrants because of "concern the licenses could be misused to register to vote" and in the next breath, he directly contradicts the rationale he stated days ago!
Can't wait for Godfrey's campaign to claim that everyone is taking his words out of context!