OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. - Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson is raising eyebrows after he compared Michigan's Speaker of the House Jase Bolger to Hitler. Patterson went so far as to call him "Adolph Bolger".
He then took a comb from his pocket and placed it under his nose, making reference to Adolph Hitler's infamous moustache.
The incident came during the taping of the public television show 'Off the Record'. Patterson's remarks came after a Michigan legislative panel has approved a bill that would end unlimited lifetime medical care for people seriously injured in car crashes.
Premiums would drop at least $125 in the first year under the measure being pushed by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and the Legislature's GOP majority. All motorists would get $1 million in coverage.
The bill approved Thursday by a House committee is different from one that stalled in 2011. But it's still going to run into opposition in the GOP-led House because not every Republican is on board and Democrats fiercely oppose the plan.
Michigan is the only state that offers unlimited medical benefits for catastrophic auto injuries and rehabilitation. The assessment costs motorists $175 per car per year and is rising to $186 this summer.
Bolger has not publically commented on the Hitler reference, however a handful of State Representatives have.
Rep. Eileen Kowall, R-White Lake, issued the following statement regarding L. Brooks Patterson's remarks:
"Anytime changes to major policies are discussed, it is normal for passions to flare on all sides. However, those passions should be respectful, which comparing state Leaders to Adolf Hitler is not. "It is my hope that Brooks apologizes immediately, as this they of rhetoric has no place in a meaningful debate."
Rep. Hugh Crawford, R-Novi, said:
"In the course of discussion over controversial policy issues, sometimes tempers flare. But to compare a respected leader of the state of Michigan to Adolf Hitler is a step too far.
"Policy differences aside, Brooks has hurt us all with this personal attack. We need to bridge the gap where our differences lie, not widen it, and Brooks needs to apologize immediately for his words and actions."
Rep. Brad Jacobsen, R-Oxford, issued this statement:
"When discussing important legislation, temperatures can easily rise. But comparing a respected leader of the state of Michigan to Adolf Hitler is going too far.
"Policy differences are one thing, but Brooks has hurt us all with this personal attack. We need to bridge the gap where our differences lie in order to work together, and Brooks needs to apologize immediately for his words and actions."
Patterson was hurt and his driver James Cram paralyzed in a crash that happened in August 2012. Since that time Patterson has been an outspoken advocate of no-fault insurance laws.
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