At a time when we need bipartisanship more than ever, the unveiling of Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s portrait in the House Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing room just before Thanksgiving is cause for thanks.
Most of us know her as the first woman and first Hispanic to chair this vital committee, as an untiring champion for human rights around the world — and as a conservative Republican.
Just as important, it is worth noting that the kickoff speaker introducing her was Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and that one of her key early mentors was the late Congressman (and Foreign Affairs Committee chair) Dante Fascell of Miami — a Democrat.
I was fortunate to be there, too, representing our law firm Shutts & Bowen LLP, a cosponsor of the packed event.
Frank Shutts, who founded both the firm and the Miami Herald in 1910, would have been proud because Ros-Lehtinen stands for what democracy is all about: protecting human rights through access to the courts and due process and minimizing suffering at the hands of tyrants.
In keeping with this spirit, Holocaust survivors and former prisoners of conscience were there, as were friendly colleagues from Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel, proof of the overlooked democratic value of disagreeing without being disagreeable.
Harold E. Patricoff,