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New Hampshire Lawmaker's Nazi Salute Stuns House

A New Hampshire lawmaker shouted the Nazi salute “Sieg Heil,” at Speaker William O’Brien during a debate on voter identification legislation
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 5/16/2012, 9:44 AM

salute
salute
Reuters

A New Hampshire lawmaker shouted the Nazi salute “Sieg Heil,” at Speaker William O’Brien during a debate on voter identification legislation on Tuesday.

The outburst by Rep. Steve Vaillancourt, a Manchester Republican who once lived in Berlin, came after O'Brien shut down debate on voter identification legislation being heard in the House.

Vaillancourt had left the Representatives Hall briefly and then returned, according to state legislators. O’Brien ruled Vaillancourt was out of order and called Capitol security to have him removed.

Fellow Republican lawmaker Gary Daniels said Vaillancourt’s remark showed “a disregard for decorum; a disrespect for the speaker,” and reflected poorly on the legislative body.

“I don’t think this kind of disrespect should be allowed in the chamber,” Daniels said. “There’s no place for it.”

“Vaillancourt was definitely out of line when he walked out and said ‘Sieg Heil,’ but it was a good commentary on the dictatorial style of Bill O’Brien,” said Rep. Dick Drisko, R-Hollis.

In his initial apology, Vaillancourt insisted he did not say anything about Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, as some had suggested. His apology was not accepted, The Associated Press reported.

He had apologized three times before he was vindicated. 

“Sieg Heil” translated means “hail victory,” and was a hallmark salute in Nazi Germany. The salute is typically made by extending the right arm out from the body and pointing the hand flat.