Kolb, lawmakers condemn McLaughlin’s “Hitler” comments

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Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, R-Canandaigua, said the comments by Albany-area conference member, Steve McLaughlin, were “totally inappropriate,” saying there’s no room for divisive statements in political discourse.

Kolb, after speaking at the state Association of Counties, told Gannett’s Albany Bureau that he was aware of McLaughlin’s comments that said Hitler and Mussolini would be proud of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s gun-control bill, calling Cuomo a dictator for pushing the bill through as a message of necessity. Kolb said he planned to talk to McLaughlin about the remarks.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate to use that sort of language,” Kolb said, adding that politicians can have debates on issues but that name calling is “totally inappropriate.”

McLaughlin’s comments drew a sharp rebuke from Republicans and Democrats, as well as the The Anti-Defamation League. McLaughlin said on Twitter he planned to issue an apology.

“The heated political debate over gun control and government transparency should not be tainted by inappropriate and offensive invocations of Hitler or Nazism,” said Ron Meier, ADL New York regional director, said in a statement. “Whatever one’s opinion about the governor’s actions, the notion that his efforts to promote gun control legislation at the state level are akin to Adolf Hitler’s actions during World War II is historically inaccurate and a trivialization of the Holocaust.”

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, also criticized McLaughlin.

“That comparison is highly offensive and beneath a member of the state Legislature,” he said in a statement. “It is completely inappropriate and doesn’t belong in our public
discourse. On the substance, the constitution allows for messages of necessity and the Legislature and Governor agree to them as appropriate.”

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County, said, “I think that type of language is inappropriate.”

The Independent Democratic Conference also knocked McLaughlin.

“These comparisons are simply revolting. When legislators make comments like this they not only embarrass themselves–they embarrass New York,” said IDC spokesman Eric Soufer.

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  1. I had to laugh when I read the hypocritical remarks by Steve McLaughlin regarding the quick passage of the new gun legislation, when Republican-led Michigan did exactly the same thing, back in December: “Michigan GOP Pushes Through Right-To-Work Bill, Amid Angry Protests” (As Mitt Romney would say, “What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander!”) http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2012/12/07/michigan-gop-pushes-through-right-to-work-bill-amid-angry-prote/

  2. Jam through the property tax cap? GOOD
    Jam through Tier VI? GOOD

    Oooh, but NOW I guess you don’t the latest “jam”.

    Try jelly instead…that’s what the spine of our legislators are made of. But they shoulda stood up against Cuomo when he first jammed thru bad policy such as the foolish tax cap, and ineffective Tier VI. So conservatives, its YOUR turn to squirm.

  3. Heafty hippo, the only fool that didn’t know bout the tax cap & tier 6 was George Latimer and now he’s introducing new taxes for the residents of New Rochelle.

    Why’d we elect him? Oh yeh, support from the working families party & his friends in teachers union all came out in droves for fear of losing even more of there prizes, paid for by you & me the taxpayers.

  4. Note to The Rockhead: your baloney didn’t sell last year when peddled by Cohen, Maisano, Tocci, and the rest. Latimer won big in NR south and north, much less almost everywhere else. Extending the sales tax is all he’s done. But your band of the frantic few will keep bashing him, many more; of us love him. You guys simply can’t stand how popular he is. You’re lucky he ain’t running against your boy Astorino.

  5. I don’t care about Lattimore…I live on the river. I’m proud of Tom Abinanti for taking tough
    votes that are right even if unpopular. Go Tom.

    In due time, all but the far right will see the folly of these two bad ideas.

  6. Larch, why do you blindly follow? Not original thoughts of your own? I’m merely pointing out that Latimer’s not really the best person to represent us, as I always have. Popular? Sure Latimer’s popular with the teacher’s union & the Working Families Party but they hardly represent everyone in our area. Some of us have to work to pay all those salaries or did you forget that?

    And what’s George done for us? As far as I can tell, not much except support higher spending & thus the higher taxes to pay for it.

    Has George done anything or have any ideas on mandate reform? I doubt it and I bet he’ll push to get rid of the tax cap when the opportunity comes but that’s no surprise, the teacher’s union hates it as does the WFP.

    The mistake Cohen made was riling up those 2 organizations. You never want to get a bee in either of those bonnets. Hurricane Sandy didn’t help him either as most of the electorate was too busy trying to find a gallon a gas than worry about elections.

    btw, I don’t think Astorino will ever be able to unravel the mess he inherited from Andy Spano with the help of Latimer. But given another 4 years he just might.

  7. yeh not much of a choice between Cohen & Latimer.

    Mr. Negative v. Mr. Career Politician.

    I choose the lesser of 2 evils & went w/politian because at least I know what to expect. The other guy was an unknown supported by some outfit in Virgina.

  8. Career Conservative Bloggers on

    The same 50 or so bloggers, constant complainers all, want the FOX-ization of NY. But the vaaaast majority of us dont want the right wing medicine. We know George is a terrific elected, and The Rock and friends are south end NR guys who can’t ever accept that regular, hard working Westchester types dont buy their junk. George wins and is popular in the very neighborhoods that his opponents say they represent.

    Keep blogging your vitriol if it makes you feel better. But he handily beat you and your boy last time, and he will do it again .

  9. Sorry to say it but I look for a little more than he’s “terrific” when voting for my state senator, but you’re probably connected & living off the taxpayer so you could careless how much it costs to work & live in NY so long as you get yours.

    And why is it that the Democrats couldn’t form a majority? They do have 33 senators, yet I noticed Latimer’s sitting with the minority party? Truely a dysfuncitonal group if ever there was one.

  10. watching carefully on

    hey, why isn’t Latimer opposed to the extension of the temporary 2% utility tax Patterson got passed in 09?

    I voted for him & now this? Why doesn’t he support making it less expensive for people to live in NY? I think I need to rethink my vote next time.