Colorado's Democratic Party chairwoman is demanding an apology from a Colorado Springs Republican, after his e-mail asking if three people killed in a crash were illegal immigrants.
Party chair Pat Waak Tuesday called state Representative Dave Schultheis an "embarrassment to the Legislature," and said Greeley state Senator Dave Owen should demand an apology on behalf of the family of those killed.
The State Patrol says 17-year-old Tania Bustillos ran a stop sign October Second, and a pickup truck broadsided her vehicle. Tania's 15-year-old brother, Enrique, 12-year-old brother, Miguel, and three-month old daughter, Destiny, all died.
Schultheis e-mailed the Greeley Tribune two days later and asked about the family's immigration status.
Waak says no representative ought to display what she called "this type of insensitive and cruel behavior" to a family that lost three kids.
The newspaper posted the e-mail on its Web site, which generated hundreds of positive and negative comments.
Schultheis is known for outspoken opposition to illegal immigration and his criticism of the federal government's response to the issue.
He later said he regretted the timing, but blamed the newspaper for publishing the message, claiming he was "blindsided maliciously."
In the message, Schultheis asked whether the driver was properly licensed, whether the vehicle was properly insured and whether the family was in the United States illegally.
Owen says the message and its timing were in bad taste, but he doesn't plan to seek an apology.
(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)