(AP) — A Republican state representative from Sikeston has apologized for comparing Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s support of his decision to veto a state income tax cut to Adolf Hitler’s Nazi propaganda.
Rep. Holly Rehder made the comparison in an email to constituents last week. She issued a statement Monday apologizing to anyone who was “truly offended.”
“My degree is in public relations and one point that was hammered home throughout my study is that `Perception Is Everything,'” Rehder wrote. “This tidbit has been proven for years, if you will remember propaganda served as an important tool to win over the majority of the German public during Adolf Hitler’s rule. I say this to remind you that you simply cannot take one side’s viewpoint and proclaim it as the gospel. It behooves us all to research both sides of a debate before weighing in.”
The 44-year-owner of a cable TV contracting company was elected to her first term in November. Rehder represents parts of Scott and Mississippi counties in southeast Missouri.
The Southeast Missourian reported Tuesday that Rehder plans to vote for an override of Nixon’s veto of House Bill 253 when the Legislature convenes in Jefferson City starting Wednesday.
Rep. Stacey Newman, D-St. Louis, called Rehder’s remarks “completely insensitive to those families throughout our state who have been forever altered by this horrific event in world history.”
“I was extremely offended, as were many of my family, of your comparison of opposing policy views to the insanity of the Holocaust,” Newman wrote in a letter to Rehder. Her husband’s grandmother is a Holocaust survivor.
In her statement, Rehder said she “would never knowingly hurt someone, nor would I want to distract from the meat of this very important piece of legislation.”