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Minn. GOP Lawmaker Raises Hitler, Castro In Email

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Minnesota Rep. Tom Hackbarth is under fire again.

This time it's for an email he sent comparing union politics to the tactics of Fidel Castro and Adolf Hitler.

Last November, surveillance video showed Hackbarth in the St. Paul Planned Parenthood parking lot carrying a loaded gun. He was never charged with a crime.

Now, some are demanding the Republican apologize for what he sent to one of his constituents.

Richard Kolodziejski is the legal affairs director for the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees and he says the woman who sent the email, a constituent of Hackbarth's, was afraid to come forward about what he wrote her.

In the email, the woman asked Hackbarth to support Gov. Mark Dayton's budget plan that would raise income taxes on Minnesota's top earners.

When she got a return email from the lawmaker, she took it to the union that represents her.

Hackbarth wrote: "Are you a union member? If so, are they the communist giving you this propaganda?Do you know the who, what, when, where, why and how of Fidel Castro? Hitler rose to power using and blaming the Jews for the destruction of the German economy. Castro built his army of murderers by blaming the rich bankers and capitalist for destroying Cuba and taking advantage of the Cuban people. Hummm?"

"That's about as insulting as you can be to a constituent," Kolodziejski said.

Kolodziejski wants answers.

"We'd like an explanation. Number one, on why he thinks we are comparable to Hitler, to Fidel Castro's army. And not only that, I think his own constituent deserves a written response as to why he couldn't offer her a reasonable explanation as somebody who pays his salary and benefits down at the legislature," Kolodziejski said.

We reached out to Hackbart and his aide told WCCO-TV that he was up north and unreachable by telephone.

We also requested comment from the speaker and the Majority leader and neither responded.

Democratic leadership, however, did speak out in an email saying Hackbarth's email was completely inappropriate and extreme.

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