North Idaho leader criticized for comparing nonessential workers to Holocaust victims
BONNER COUNTY, Idaho.– A North Idaho representative recently compared the temporary shutdown of nonessential businesses to Jewish people in the Holocaust who were sent to concentration camps.
District 1 Republican Representative Heather Scott made the comments in at least two recorded interviews this month with hosts of podcasts and other shows posted to YouTube.
Rep. Scott made the comparisons when discussing her opposition to Republican Governor Brad Little’s stay-home order, which is similar to the response by dozens of other states across the nation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Idaho leader, who rarely responds to requests for interviews from local news outlets, spent more than an hour talking with Defending Utah Radio, a group that bills itself as people who “expose those conspiring to take away your freedom and educate citizens on the principles of liberty.”
During the interview with Defending Utah Radio on April 14, Scott questioned the power of Governor Little and said his order deeming which businesses are essential is unconstitutional. Then she took it a step further to prove her point.
“Hitler used essential and nonessential Jewish workers and if you were nonessential, you were put on the bus or the train,” Scott said.
That reference is in regards to the the trains that German Nazis used to forcibly deport Jews, and other victims of the Holocaust, to concentration camps.
Scott made a similar reference two days later in another interview. This time with Jess Fields, who hosts a podcast out of Texas. During that discussion, she referred to the state’s governor as “Little Hitler.”
Those comments crossed a line for many, including members of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations. The group denounced those comparisons in a statement to 4 News Now.
“It is offensive and painful to our State and our Jewish community for our Governor to be compared to the atrocities of Hitler. Governors of both parties have closed businesses and ordered people to stay home due to their first responsibility of public safety and the health and welfare of their citizens. We have the highest praise for Gov. Brad Little. This has nothing to do with an ideology.”
Scott did not respond to a request to discuss her recent comments with 4 News Now. But, the representative did respond to Friday’s story published in the Spokesman Review. She called the article “a hit piece.” Scott went on to say on Facebook that her “recent analogies are poignant and relative to our times.”
Scott has faced criticism before. In 2015, she posted a photo on Facebook from the campaign trail posing with a Confederate flag. She was reprimanded two years later for telling another female lawmaker the only way women move up in the Legislature is by trading sexual favors.
The Bonner County Sheriff also recently questioned whether the stay-home order was constitutional. Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said recently the governor can assert that order by law. Speaking to the Idaho Statesman, Wasden said that “the law in this area is clearly defined.”
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