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Alabama state senator criticized for remarks

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September 30, 2011

Alabama

MONTGOMERY, Alabama: State Senator Scott Beason (R) has fallen under heavy scrutiny after he made a comment referring to African-Americans as "aborigines."[1]

In a press conference this week Beason apologized for the remark, saying it was a "careless and unnecessary" statement.[1]

The comment became public as a result of the investigations into bribery and corruption in the statehouse stemming from a bill related to bingo. Beason wore a wire for the FBI, and he made the comment when discussing legislation with a former legislator.[1]

Some Democrats have said the apology is not enough, and are calling for Beason to resign from the chamber -- or at least give up his chairmanship of the Rules Committee.[2]

"That type of language should not be tolerated by any member of the Alabama Legislature. ... If he truly was a leader, the only thing he would have done, and should have done, is resign," said state senator Vivian Figures (D).[1]

Del Marsh, State Senate President Pro Tempore, said Republicans are not condoning Beason's remarks but are not calling for his resignation.[1]

Beason was first elected in 2006. He most recently won election on November 2, 2010. He won re-election with more than 38,000 votes -- while his opponent received less than 9,000. Beason previously served in the Alabama House of Representatives from 1998-2006.

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