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State Democrats, ADL Blast Maine Governor for 'Gestapo' Remarks

State Democrats are lashing out at Maine Governor Paul LePage after he compared the IRS to the Nazi Gestapo.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 7/9/2012, 11:11 AM

ADL's Abraham Foxman
ADL's Abraham Foxman
Israel news video screenshot

State Democrats lashed out at Maine Governor Paul LePage after he criticized the Supreme Court’s healthcare ruling in his weekly radio message, comparing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to the Nazi Gestapo.

Governor LePage, like many critics of the president's signature health care reform law, targeted the individual mandate, which requires that one either buys a health insurance plan or pay a penalty to be collected with the yearly income tax filing.

"This decision has made America less free,” he claimed. “We the people have been told there is no choice. You must buy health insurance or pay the new Gestapo - the I.R.S."

Maine Democratic Party Chairman Ben Grant, responding to LePage's remarks, said, "We've come to expect a bunch of nonsense from Gov. LePage, but this is a step too far. There appears now to be no limit to the extreme language he will use to misinform, degrade and insult people. Somebody needs to explain to him that he's the governor of a state, and not a talk radio host. I demand a full apology on behalf of all those who suffered at the hands of the real Gestapo."

"There is nothing that degrades politics more than purported leaders who so cavalierly invoke the worst in human history when they can't get their way in legitimate, modern policy disagreements," Grant said.

"The Governor's language is intentionally offensive. This goes beyond political rhetoric," asserted House Leader Emily Cain. "The experience of the Holocaust survivors and veterans of World War II who witness the true terror of the Gestapo should not be trivialized for political shock."

Assistant Senate Leader Justin Alfond added that, "his comment trivializes an historic atrocity and mischaracterizes ObamaCare for the sake of political divisiveness. This is yet another instance of the Governor choosing hostile language over substance."

The Anti-Defamation League released a statement saying, "The Governor should immediately apologize for his remarks and demonstrate an understanding of why they are offensive to all who value civil discourse.  Comparisons to the Nazi police force have no place in modern politics or anywhere else."