The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reports that Tom Husband (right), a former chairman and executive director of the Maricopa County GOP, equated Heather Carter (R-Cave Creek) who supported Arizona’s Medicaid expansion, to the French women whose heads were shaved and paraded before the public following accusations of cavorting with German soldiers during World War II. Former county Republican leader’s head-shaving comments called hateful, mean-spirited:
“Upon the liberation of Paris by the Allied army, I remember watching newsreels of those traitorous women having their heads shaved in revenge for their perfidious conduct,” Husband said in an article distributed by the American Post-Gazette, an outlet for conservative ideas.
After noting Carter’s support for Medicaid expansion, Husband wrote, “The preference election was a chance for Carter’s fellow precinct committeemen to express themselves on her collaboration. And they did! But they didn’t shave her head.”
Husband was referring to a meeting of precinct committeemen from Legislative District 15 last week, when they held a mock election and took a vote on candidates for the district’s House primary.
Carter received only three votes in the mock election, while two other candidates – former legislator David Burnell Smith and Rep. John Allen, R-Scottsdale – got 76 and 74 votes, respectively.
Husband also called Carter a “turncoat” for voting with Democrats to pass Medicaid expansion, which is also a key provision of the federal Affordable Care Act.
Husband’s comments have spawned a backlash.
Rep. Brophy McGee, R-Phoenix, an ally of Carter, said the comments were “hateful and mean-spirited.”
“The quote was just totally irresponsible on his part,” she said.
Lobbyist Chris Herstam described Husband’s comments as bigoted and sexist.
“To compare an excellent female Arizona legislator with French women who slept with Nazis is sexist trash,” he said.
Rep. Kelly Townsend, a conservative Republican from Mesa, said Carter doesn’t deserve the comparison.
“These remarks are indicative of the anger conservatives feel over what happened last year,” she said. “However, if we can refine those comments and focus on issues, we will do better to take that energy and direct it toward those not in our own party in an effort to win elections in 2014.”
Reached on the phone, Carter said such comments give the Republican Party and the state a “black eye.”
“They want to say the most extreme thing to get attention, and that’s a shame. The citizens of Arizona deserve better than this,” she said, lamenting that while she dwells on her work to improve the state, others want to focus on personal attacks.
“The state GOP refused to comment on the simmering controversy. Efforts to reach Husband also failed.” Seriously? The state GOP has no comment? What, are you afraid of your radical extremist members who agree with Husband? Craven cowards.
The Fred DuVal for Governor campaign has released a statement in response to this controversy:
DuVal Campaign Manager Condemns Tea Party Leader’s Sexist Remarks
Phoenix, AZ — The campaign manager of Fred DuVal’s campaign for Arizona governor, Bill Scheel, released the following statement today condemning Tea Party Leader and former Republican official Tom Husband’s reprehensible remarks about Representative Heather Carter:
“Mr. Husband’s comments comparing Representative Heather Carter to a Nazi collaborator for supporting Medicaid expansion are disgraceful,” said Scheel. “Representative Carter is a dedicated public servant who is committed to doing what she thinks is best for Arizona. Anyone that’s willing to give up their time to represent their neighbors and serve as a role model for young girls deserves respect.”
“It’s truly unfortunate that the Tea Party is still pulling the strings of the Republican Party, and preventing leadership from standing up and doing the right thing.”