Protesters gathered outside Congressman Randy Neugebauer's Lubbock office this afternoon. The demonstrators say they want an apology for the lawmaker's dispute with a Washington D.C. park ranger last week.
The District 19 representative garnered national media attention last week after cameras caught him telling off a park ranger at the national WWII memorial. The ranger wasn't allowing visitors, mostly groups of veterans into the memorial, as it's one of the many monument closed due to the government shutdown.
Since then, an online petition has been circulating, asking for the congressman to apologize to the ranger.
"He's trying to put the blame on someone who had absolutely no blame for what's going on," said Tech Student Democrats' Raul Cevallos, one of the protest's organizers. "He's blaming the park ranger for the shutdown that he himself has caused."
The approximately 30 protesters gave Neugebauer an ultimatum - apologize, or resign. They gave until 6pm tonight to make a formal apology. He did not. Now they say they'll advocate for Neugebauer to resign, citing what they say is a lack of accountability on the congressman's behalf.
"We've already notified his offices that we want this apology," Cevallos continued. "If we don't get the apology by then we will be supporting moveon.org's petition to ask for his official resignation."
Neugebauer put out a statement Monday afternoon, saying "Could I have handled it better? Of course. But they [the veterans] should up for us, and I was standing up for them." However, Cevallos and his fellow demonstrators don't consider that an apology.
"Our organization's intent is to get the word out and let people know about what's happened, he says. "And if we can't make a difference through a protest, we can at least make a difference through the ballot box come November 2014."
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