GOP Rep who wanted mentally disabled shipped to Sibera quits New Hampshire legislature

A 91-year-old freshman lawmaker in New Hampshire who suggested the mentally disabled should be shipped to Siberia resigned Monday from the state House and said he was sorry that his “big mouth caused this furor.”

Rep. Martin Harty’s comments came to light last week during testimony at a hearing on proposed cuts to the state budget. He said he was kidding around with a female caller who supported funding for the homeless when he raised the issue of eugenics and the world’s population growth.

Harty, a Republican from Barrington, said he didn’t know what to do with mentally disturbed people and suggested renting a spot off Russia. He said the woman called him an Adolf Hitler and hung up.

“I was just getting the hang of it some, but with the slightly unfavorable publicity I’ve been getting the last few days, I’ll never be an effective lawmaker,” Harty said in his handwritten resignation letter.

Republican leaders quickly praised Harty for resigning.

Republican House Speaker William O’Brien said Harty came to see him Monday to offer his resignation in person.

“We both agreed that this is what is best for the House to move forward,” he said.

State GOP Party Chairman Jack Kimball said Harty’s comments were inappropriate and he was satisfied with his decision to quit.

“He failed to represent the sentiments of his constituents and the core values and principles of the Republican Party,” Kimball said.

House Democratic Leader Terie Norelli said Harty’s comments hurt thousands of New Hampshire families. She also criticized Republicans for proposing budget cuts to programs “that will be damaging to the mentally ill, disabled and children.”

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press

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3 Responses to "GOP Rep who wanted mentally disabled shipped to Sibera quits New Hampshire legislature"

  1. Dawn Suhonen  March 16, 2011 at 8:32 am

    At least SOMEONE had sense enough to tell the man to get the hell out while he still could!

    And budget cuts are ALWAYS made to social service programs first. The people that need them the most and are least able/likely to stand up for themselves.

    • Mightymo  March 16, 2011 at 5:08 pm

      I’ll go a little further and say that any program or policy that is fundamentaly in place to pay or provide for the benefit of people, or constituants, are always the first to be cut.
      I find that logic awfully strange too. Put money into the hands of people and you have a direct link to funding a failing economy. Take that money away and then you add to the economic burden.
      I wonder how the Repugs can support that agenda when in fact they take a completely different approach when taking care of their own.

      http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_12/027176.php

  2. NightWisp  March 17, 2011 at 12:47 am

    Was he talking about the liberals in Congress?

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