Massachusetts lawmaker apologizes for "Hitler" remark

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 30, 2011 1:23 PM

BOSTON (Reuters) - A Massachusetts state lawmaker apologized on Thursday for a remark comparing a Republican proposal that would require lobbyists to wear ID badges to the Nazi tattooing of Jews during the Holocaust.

House Republicans last week proposed a set of ethics reforms in response to the recent corruption conviction of former Massachusetts Speaker Salvatore DiMasi and an associate.

Among the proposals was a plan for lobbyists to wear visible identification badges to seek access to House members or staff.

John Binienda, a Democrat from Worcester, told the State House News Service on Wednesday that the ID badges plan was "revolting," and compared it to Adolf Hitler having Jewish people tattooed in concentration camps.

The lawmaker, chairman of the Massachusetts House Rules Committee, recanted after his comments sparked outrage.

"Yesterday, I made an inappropriate analogy regarding a proposed change to the House Rules," Binienda said in a statement. "No comparison can be made between the Nazi regime and a rules proposal made by members in good faith."

(Reporting by Ros Krasny, editing by Cynthia Johnston)