ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Missouri Rep. Stacey Newman, D-Richmond Heights, says she is “extremely offended” by remarks made last week by Rep. Holly Rehder comparing Gov. Jay Nixon’s recent campaigning to Nazi propaganda.
“My degree is in Public Relations and one point that was hammered home throughout my study is that ‘Perception Is Everything,’” wrote Rep. Rehder, R-Scott City, in her weekly “Capitol Report” email Friday. “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.”
HB 253, a tax cut bill, was passed by the Republican-led Missouri Legislature earlier this year but vetoed by Gov. Nixon, a Democrat. The governor has spent considerable time touring the state to defend his opposition to the bill.
In a letter sent Saturday, Rep. Newman, who is Jewish, said she and her family were offended by Rehder’s comparison “to the insanity of the Holocaust.”
“Your comment was completely insensitive to those families throughout our state who have been forever altered by this horrific event in world history,” Newman wrote. “Your policy differences with our governor can be in no way comparable to the propaganda of Adolph Hitler.”
Newman’s husband’s grandmother lost eight sisters in the Holocaust along with extended families members.
“We would never show our surviving aunt who is 91 years old your remarks for fear of how it would personally cause her anguish,” Newman wrote in the letter. “Such casual references to a man associated with unbelievable atrocities are a great insult.”
The St. Louis County representative went on to say that comparing policy differences to Nazi propaganda only “incites and inflames” and “does not persuade rational people.”
“I encourage you, as an elected official, in the future to be respectful and not lightly reference, what to you may be a chapter in a history text book, but to others never forgotten family horrors.”