Athena Salman forced to apologize after “tampon pillow” fiasco

PHOENIX — State Representative Athena Salman was forced to apologize to her colleagues this week after sending them unsolicited pillows made out of feminine hygiene products.

Salman represents the state’s 26th legislative district, which includes the Tempe area. She and a group of political activists affiliated with various criminal justice reform organizations like #cut50 — founded by Van Jones, President Barack Obama’s “green jobs czar” — planned to distribute Kotex pillows to all members of the state legislature.

The demonstration, intended to mimic pillows strung together by female inmates, wasn’t received well by her fellow lawmakers.

“That was a mistake and I am sincerely sorry to any of my colleagues or staff who felt uncomfortable,” Salman told the Arizona Capitol Times. “It will not happen again.”

The apology came after several members of the state legislature submitted complaints about the unsolicited deliveries to their offices.

House Speaker J.D. Mesnard said that the interruption — during the middle of the legislative session — was compounded by Salman’s decision to be followed around by group of cameras, which was perceived by members as an unfair “‘gotcha’ moment,” according to the newspaper.

The House Democratic Caucus had previously bragged about the demonstration on Twitter, publishing a photograph of Salman and the activists in front of the capitol.

Salman is seatmates with State Representative Isela Blanc, who was arrested in Washington, D.C., last week during a protest in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.