A committee working to reelect Angela Dempsey in Florida’s 2nd Judicial Circuit sent out an email summarizing the many racist and misogynistic social media posts made by her opponent, attorney Kevin Alvarez.
In an email sent to supporters, the Committee of Responsible Persons to Re-elect Judge Angela Dempsey compiled the posts, which range from misogynistic to racist — including frequent use of the N-word.
“I am uncomfortable repeating the language used above, but I felt it was important for the community to know who is running to be their Circuit Judge,” the committee’s Jimmy Gustafson said.
The posts, dated between 2009 and 2011, haven’t gone unnoticed by those paying attention to the race.
The Tallahassee Democrat’s Jeffrey Schweers wrote a story earlier this month on them, describing them as “too vulgar to republish.”
Florida Politics also highlighted them, and Alvarez’ response to their unearthing. Alvarez said “using inappropriate language before I became a lawyer is not a reflection of how I would act today” and “lawyers should not spend a lot of time on Facebook.”
After summarizing Alvarez’ posts, Gustafson wrote, “Judge Dempsey has served our circuit with respect, professionalism, and competence. She also has the maturity and temperament to make the critically important decisions of a judge. I’ll leave it to you to decide whether her opponent has that same temperament.”
On Tuesday, Alvarez added to his explanation in a campaign email, saying he knows the comments were “wholly inappropriate.” He apologized and reiterated that the comments aren’t representative of who he is now.
“Yesterday I received an email, as I am sure most of you did, from firstname.lastname@example.org. The email relayed comments, quotations from others, and statements I made nearly a decade ago on my personal Facebook page when I was a law student and first year attorney. I made statements that were wholly inappropriate. I also made disrespectful comments about opposing counsel. As I told the Tallahassee Democrat, I am responsible for, and embarrassed by my youthful indiscretion. Those comments reflect my immaturity at the time and are not a reflection of the reverence I have for the law or the man I have developed into in the intervening decade. I am, however, incredibly sorry for my actions,” he wrote.
“During the past decade I have matured – age and experience have a way of putting life into proper perspective for all of us. Over the years I have grown as a lawyer and member of my community. I am now lucky to be married to my wonderful wife, who is also an attorney here in Tallahassee. I have learned that litigation is not a war between opposing counsels. I believe it is appropriate to try the facts of the case, and not the lawyers involved,” he continued.
“What I hope is not lost is the purpose and reason that I am running against Judge Dempsey, which I laid out in my last message to the bar. My actions have never led to any professional discipline, and that is something my opponent simply cannot say. I pledge to you that I have gained humility and wisdom during the course of my years of practice. If elected, I will ensure that the law is followed, and that people are treated with dignity and respect. As I have said before my phone number is 850-559-0050. My email address is KevinAlvarezesq@gmail.com. I am available to any member of the bar (or non-member) who would like to look me in the eye and ask me the hard questions,” he concluded.
His latest round of apologia is actually not half bad.
“I made statements that were wholly inappropriate.” Good.
“I also made disrespectful comments about opposing counsel.” Yeah, you did.
“I am responsible for, and embarrassed…” And we are for you.
And finally… “I am, however, incredibly sorry for my actions.” Also good.
Well, except he then does the usual walk back by repeatedly referencing his, “youthful indiscretion,” “immaturity” and the fact that he made those comments nearly a decade ago.
While “nearly a decade” isn’t all that long ago, we must ask the most obvious question: Mr. Alvarez, that stuff on your wall was up and in plain sight for all to see until a few weeks ago … why didn’t you take those words down if they were so offensive even to you? Why did it take the news story for you to do what you should have done years ago?
I think we know why.
But here is where he really goes off the rails and why I am motivated to use this space to call BS on his faux apology — an apology based primarily on his indiscretions of attacking other lawyers. He even goes so far as to say attacking other members of the bar is just plain churlish and wrong.
Because in the very next sentence he turns around and attacks the sitting judge. He didn’t even have a good transition.
But here’s the you-can’t-make-this-up part.
After using three different ways to not apologize for youthful missteps that he waves away because they happened “nearly a decade ago” (sigh) his criticism on the incumbent judge was for something that happened — I swear — nearly a decade ago.
Mr. Alvarez, my suggestion to you when this first broke was to just stop talking about it and consider getting out of the race. By continuing you make this more than a 2-day story, you make it a career-defining moment. You instead chose to not only forge ahead, but to continue discussing your own lunacy.
As they say, “better to remain silent and thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.”