Bend In The Branch

The personal opinions of one among many.

Sunday, May 01, 2005


There was a time when an apology was a sincere expression of regret.

Now, more often than not, an apology is merely a defense; an explanation; an excuse.

Representative John Graham Altman issued the following written apology to the media and the House of representatives April 26, 2004:


Dear Colleague:

I hope I have the opportunity to make these comments on the House floor today. I also wanted to make them to you in this letter.

I want to take this moment to express my regret and sorrow over last week's events. I very much regret that my comments were offensive to some. My intention was not and never will be to paint this institution or you in a negative manner. And so I regret the attention this whole episode has received.

I know many of you don't like or appreciate my comments. I am sorry to those I have offended. But I hope we never get to a place in this body, in this state, when we are no longer allowed to speak our minds.

I'm not asking you to support me. Each of you has the right to tell the world how much you disagree with me. That's what our democracy is all about.

Again, I apologize for this episode. I deeply regret that I offended anyone and for any embarrassment I may have caused this institution I love so much.

John Graham Altman

Representative Altman addressed the House the next day:

"I very much regret. This is not one of those wimpish apologize if I offended you, I never like those Mr. Sandifer, because I offend a lot of people..."

"I don't mind dining out now and then, but I don't enjoy being the entrée..."

"If you don't agree with me, that's Ok. I'm married. I understand people don't agree. I can deal with that..."


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