What others say: Focus on Munoz’s letters misses the point

  • Sunday, September 4, 2016 9:06pm
  • Opinion

Rep. Cathy Muñoz has been the subject of much criticism as of late. Now, she deserves a little praise.

In an Aug. 21 editorial, the Juneau Empire asked the Mendenhall Valley Republican to disavow two letters written on behalf of felons involved in child sex abuse cases. This week, Muñoz did just that by issuing a public apology.

“(The letters) unintentionally caused pain to victims of sexual abuse and for that, I sincerely apologize,” she wrote.

It takes courage to admit when you’re wrong, and that’s especially true when making amends to an entire community. This is the course we asked Muñoz to take when her letters of support for Mary Chessica Hauge and Thomas Jack Jr. became known. The silver lining, if there is one, is that Muñoz now says she’s recommitting herself toward helping victims of sexual abuse.

“This experience has strengthened my resolve to help create safe havens for victims to come forward …,” she said.

Commenters on the Empire’s Facebook page aren’t accepting the apology. Some of them believe it is hollow. Only Muñoz knows for sure.

We’re willing to accept it.

The reason for the apology isn’t as important as the result. Muñoz admitted a mistake and says she has learned from it. We’ll take her at her word. There’s no point in demanding a public apology only to criticize that apology when it’s given.

If what constituents seek is perfection in their elected leaders, they will always be in for a letdown. People stumble and pick themselves back up. That’s how we learn and grow, and that’s what we’re seeing now in Muñoz’s public apology.

The letters are certainly cause for concern, but Muñoz isn’t the chief issue here. The rate of sexual abuse and assault in Alaska — particularly against children — is the issue here.

Muñoz’s original letters were a symptom of the statewide mental ignorance that has allowed sexual abuse and assault to become such a problem.

Do not forget that 14 other people wrote letters in support of Mary Chessica Hauge and Thomas Jack Jr. We have not yet seen recantations from these people. There are thousands more Alaskans who didn’t write letters but have ideas similar to those of the letter-writers. They are willing to overlook the evil and improper actions of friends.

Muñoz has accomplished a great deal during her time in office, but if she makes a solid effort to solve Alaska’s problem of abuse, that may be her greatest achievement.

We, like Muñoz, must realize that there is no excuse for abuse. Good actions do not excuse evil deeds.

The first step is admitting there is a problem. Muñoz did that. Others must make that step, too.

— Juneau Empire,

Sept. 2

More in Opinion

teaser
Opinion: The mobs widening America’s divisions

We’ve just been forced to deal with stark disagreements on a daily basis like never before.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy holds a press conference at the Capitol on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. (Juneau Empire file photo)
Opinion: Now is not the time to leave Alaskans out in the cold

Now is the perfect time for legislators to get in touch with their constituents and to act in their best interests.

New direction for the Tongass will help grow businesses, a sustainable economy

Now is the time to chart a new course for Southeast’s future.

Anselm Staack (Courtesy Photo)
Opinion: Dunleavy’s fiscally irresponsible and deceptive plan

Constitutions are about broad policy objectives and legal boundaries — not about the day-to-day.

Alaska Chief Medical Officer Anne Zink promotes getting immunized with the flu shot this winter. (Photo courtesy Alaska Department of Health and Social Services)
Immunize when you winterize

An annual flu shot plus the COVID-19 vaccine protects Alaskans and our health care system, too.

(Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Dunleavy’s first act as governor was unconstitutional

That’s according to a ruling by Senior U.S. District Judge John Sedwick.

This Aug. 3, 2021, photo shows Juneau International Airport.  The Federal Aviation Administration shared recommendations on Thursday for improving aviation safety in the state. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: How the FAA will improve the margin of aviation safety in Alaska

Alaska depends on aviation more than any other state…

Central Peninsula Hospital is seen in Soldotna on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Voices of the Peninsula: Perspective of an educator in a ‘high-risk’ group, part 2

During some of the darkest days of my time in ICU, it was obvious where we all live is a special place.

Lawmakers havereturned to the Alaska State Capitol for a fourth special session. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Revenues should be determined before more PFD spending

The governor believes the dividend drives the entire calculation. Sadly, he has it backwards

Ronnie Leach. (Photo provided)
Point of View: For Domestic Violence Awareness Month, #weareresilient

At the onset of COVID-19, we expanded our services in a way to ensure COVID-19 consciousness.

Rep. Don Young talks during a June 2021 interview with the Empire. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion:Where’s Don Young when America needs him?

Once upon a time, avoiding political controversy was completely out of character for Young.

Peter Zuyus
Voices of the Peninsula: Seniors appreciate vaccination efforts

To those who have worked to encourage vaccination we say: Be proud, you are, in fact, saving lives.