John Tanner apologized for his comment about minorities and identification yesterday, but did it in a way where he said this:
I want to apologize for the comments,” Tanner said. “. . . I understand that my explanation of the data came across in a hurtful way, which I deeply regret.”
But Tanner, a 31-year Justice Department career employee, also stuck by his assertion that demographic differences between racial groups temper the impact on minorities of laws requiring that voters present detailed identification, prompting several Democrats to question his fitness to be a senior official in the department’s Civil Rights Division.
Other individuals at the hearing where Tanner apologized said it was more than a wrong explanation.
Toby Moore, a former political geographer in the voting section, told the committee that Tanner regularly engaged in “broad generalizations, deliberate misuse of statistics and casual supposition” in making decisions, including overruling Moore and other career employees in approving a 2005 Georgia voter identification law.