AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas lawmaker under fire for saying that Asian American voters should adopt names that were "easier for Americans" has apologized for her remarks.
State Rep. Betty Brown issued an apology Thursday for the comment, made Tuesday during a House Elections Committee hearing.
Brown, a Republican, said that the remark was made during a conversation on the difficulty of translating names, and that she was referring to transliteration issues when she asked a representative of the Organization of Chinese Americans whether Asian Americans could adopt names that "we could deal with more readily here."
Ramey Ko, the representative, had testified that people of Asian descent had problems voting because they sometimes listed legal names that had been transliterated in addition to common English names on their driver's licenses or other identification.
Brown said she was not asking Ko to change his name.
New York Councilman John C. Liu, who along with the Texas Democratic Party had called on Brown to apologize, said in a statement that the apology was "a fair first step" but did not go far enough. Liu said Brown's comments during the exchange with Ko went beyond the concept of transliteration.