New Hampshire Republican Won’t Apologize For Saying ‘Defective’ People Should Die In Siberia

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A Republican in the New Hampshire House of Representatives regrets telling one of his constituents that the mentally challenged and other “defective” people should be sent to Siberia so they don’t stand to inherit control of the world.

“The world population has gotten too big and the world is being inherited by too many defective people,” Rep. Martin Harty told one of his constituents. “I mean all the defective people, the drug addicts, mentally ill, the retarded — all of them.”

Asked what should be done with those people, Harty said, “I believe if we had a Siberia we should send them to this and they would all freeze and die and we will be rid of them.”

The catch — he’s a 91 year old, who was swept into office on a GOP wave, and everyone’s basically too deferential to tell him he’s gone too far.

Speaker of the House William O’Brien treated Harty gently over the incident, saying that in the future he hopes he chooses his comments more carefully.

“I will talk with him about how he represents the House,” he said…

He added, “With the amount of time and effort he has given us all, he has earned the right to say what he thinks. He needs to appreciate that, as a representative, he will be held to a higher standard.”

Harty acknowledged he was having some trouble adjusting to his new role in a letter to the editor of a local paper.

I’m a New Hampshire Republican representative. Got slid in during the Republican landslide last fall. So far I really don’t know what I’m doing. The whole process is so alien to anything else. A new Rep really needs a coach along with him at first but there is no room for anyone to sit with him, and no way they could holler at him in a committee meeting.

Am learning the hard way. Little by little. I think that a few of the other first time reps must be in the same boat with me. We’re all sort of bluffing it out. The few votes I’ve made so far I really didn’t know what I was voting for or against. Just looked at the people around me and went along with them.

There is so much pomp and circumstance connected with the legislature. You have to separate the real doings from all the fluff. People who obviously are making very generous salaries come and go as witnesses before the various committees with tidbits of usually self-serving information. You wonder where the money is coming from to pay these people.

Yes, slowly if I keep my health, I’ll master this trade and hopefully be of some use to the state. I like to write about things and applied for this job mostly to have the opportunity to write about politics from the inside. They say the pen is mightier than the sword but you’ve still got to get your scribbling read by the people.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com
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