Last week we brought you the story about New Hampshire Democratic Rep. Peter Sullivan hurling sexist comments toward New Hampshire Rep. and Congressional Candidate Marilinda Garcia. A deeper look at Sullivan's past behavior includes a physical altercation against Garcia and a history of racist comments toward minorities.
Last year, New Hampshire Speaker William O'Brien sent a letter to Sullivan privately reprimanding him after an incident on the House floor.
"I am writing about significant concerns brought to my attention through several complaints arising from our legislative session on Wednesday, March 28. On that day, in an effort to come to the front of Representatives Hall to register a protest with the House Clerk in a hastened manner, you brusquely exited your aisle, barging into fellow members rudely and, in one case, knocking another representative, who was attempting to get up to let you by, back into her seat. This type of behavior is unacceptable on the House floor," O'Brien wrote. "As an attorney, I would expect you to understand more than most the impropriety of unprivileged physical contact with others and the necessity of avoiding any such activity. As a veteran representative, I would insist that you show your colleagues the respect and dignity to which they, and you, are entitled on the House floor, regardless of party affiliation, ideology or beliefs."
The woman Sullivan knocked down was Rep. Marilinda Garcia.
The letter also indicated this was not the first time Sullivan's behavior became out of control on the floor and O'Brien threatened consequences if Sullivan's behavior did not change.
"Given that this is the second incident on the House floor of inappropriate behavior since your recent return to the House, I would strongly advise you to calibrate your behavior and actions more in line with the standards of acceptable conduct that the citizens would expect from their elected representatives," O'Brien wrote. "If you continue to fail to conduct yourself in an appropriate manner, you should expect that your colleagues will move to take actions against you, such as reprimand, censure or even expulsion."
Back in 2009, President of the Portsmouth NAACP Fred Ross wrote a letter to Sullivan about comments directed toward NAACP Treasurer Rogers Johnson when he was appointed to the New Hampshire Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission Civil Rights.
"In June of 2009 I was appointed to the State Advisory Committee of the U.S Commission on Civil Rights. I had just left the Bush Administration, having served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Department of Education. My appointment was based upon my past service as the Treasurer of both the region NAACP and the Seacoast (Portsmouth) branch of the NAACP and my work as a member and then Chair of the NH Human Rights Commission. While there I actually received commendation from then Governor John Lynch for my work at the Laconia Motorcycle Week when I investigated and reported on the "Rebel Rousers" tent. Rebel Rousers was a t-shirt tent selling racist items, and our exposure with Laconia Citizen reporter Geoff Cunningham forced the closure of the tent, and they have not been back to Laconia since then," Johnson says. "When the notice of my appointment went out, Sullivan blasted my selection as I was a "right-wing" politician, something that many in the GOP and certainly not the NAACP would find fault with. They took the slight as a personal attack on one of its members with a stellar civil rights record, and quite possibly a racist attack at that."
The letter from Ross asked for an apology. The Garcia campaign has also asked for an apology. Neither apology has been received.
After reporting on Sullivan's attacks toward Garcia two weeks ago, Sullivan continued to double down on his sexist comments but eventually locked his Twitter feed after push back. He has since re-opened his account.