A public employee union in Minnesota is publicizing an e-mail that Republican state representative Tom Hackbarth sent as a reply to a union member who sent him a constituent letter, in which he called unions communists and compared them to Hitler and Castro.
reports, one of the state's public employee unions, the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees (MAPE), has coordinated a letter-writing campaign in support of Gov. Mark Dayton's (D) budget proposals including a tax increase on the top 2% of incomes in the state, compared to the Republican-led legislature's proposals to balance the budget entirely through spending cuts.
Union member Robin Seifert's constituent letter to Hackbarth was one such message. "We have a choice. We can either protect the richest Minnesotans and large corporations or we can protect the vital services that average Minnesotans depend on," Seifert wrote in part. "Are you willing to take away health care from 140,000 Minnesotans just to protect the 40,000 richest people in Minnesota?"
She then received an interesting reply from Hackbarth, which the union has released. As readers will see, Hackbarth went quite a bit above and beyond the standard reply that a politician might send to a constituent, which would usually involve a cordial response explaining the legislator's own position.
Hackbarth's e-mail reply, sent on Thursday, June 9, at 10:14 p.m.:
I can't believe what I'm hearing from folks? All, similar letters to yours.
Are you a Union member? If so, are they the communist giving you this propaganda?
Do you know the who, what, when, where, why, and how, of Fidel Castro?
Hitler rose to power using and blaming the jews for the destruction of the German economy. Castro built his army of murderers by blaming the rich bankers and capitalist for destroying Cuba and taking advantage of the Cuban people. Hummmm?
Phone and e-mails messages to Hackbarth's office by TPM have not yet been returned.
This past November, Hackbarth was questioend by police -- though he was not arrested -- when he was found waiting outside a Planned Parenthood clinic with a concealed weapon, for which he had a permit. Hackbarth said he was checking on a girlfriend he had met online, and did not know the parking lot he was waiting in was for Planned Parenthood. No charges were filed.