Let's start with this: Rep. Dylan Fernandes has acknowledged that he made some very unwise, possibly hateful posts on social media in his late teens and early 20's. The newly-elected, 27 year old State Representative has apologized and stated that those youthful posts do not reflect the man he is today. Fernandes did not run away from what he did. He deserves credit for that, at least.
If you want to read the material most of the media received, you can look it up here.
Once again, a youthful indiscretion has come back to haunt a young, up-and-comer. As time goes on, we will likely see more cases like this. Perhaps you recall our November 12th editorial "It's on your Permanent Record" concerning this very topic. Eight or ten years ago, when Fernandes was apparently acting like a youthful jackass, people hadn't yet realized that "the Internet is forever". Unfortunately, Dylan's chickens came home to roost this week.
Nearly every week we receive a request from some individual asking if we can remove something about him or her that appears in our online archive of stories published here since 1997. These requests are usually an arrest record, booking photo or some other piece of info that is haunting that person.
Rep. Fernandes' case is especially ironic because the posts disparage many of the very groups he proposes to support and defend today. Mr. Fernandes deserves credit for taking responsibility and for apologizing. His constituents must now determine whether he can serve effectively after his youthful "dark side" is revealed.
What do you think should happen to Rep. Dylan Fernandes? Vote in our poll.