Group reminds governor he owes feds an apology for Gestapo comments

By Kedar Pavgi

July 27, 2012

A managers group released a statement Thursday demanding that Republican Maine Gov. Paul LePage apologize specifically to Internal Revenue Service workers for comparing them to Nazis.

The Professional Managers Association asked LePage to recant his statement comparing the agency’s employees to the Gestapo. LePage apologized to Emily Chaleff, the director of the Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine, but has said nothing to IRS employees and in fact repeated his comments after apologizing to the Anti-Defamation League.
 
“This insinuation that the IRS would commit horrific acts such as those committed by the Gestapo is reprehensible,” wrote Thomas Burger, executive director of PMA. “There is no situation in which comparing the IRS to the Gestapo is called for, nor is it an appropriate way to characterize the hardworking men and women of the IRS.”

LePage’s first comments came several weeks ago, during a radio address where he criticized the recent Supreme Court decision over the 2010 Affordable Care Act. During the speech, he compared IRS employees collecting penalties for failing to buy insurance to the Nazi secret police. The National Treasury Employees Union, which represents IRS employees, immediately came out against the governor’s remarks.
 
His office could not be reached for comment.
 
PMA also wrote a letter to Rep. Michael Michaud, D-Maine, asking him to join the organization in demanding an apology from the governor for federal employees.

In both letters, PMA characterized the anti-federal sentiments that have been a part of political rhetoric as possibly putting IRS workers in harm’s way. Burger referenced the suicide pilot who flew a plane into an IRS building in Austin, Texas, in 2010, killing an employee.
 
“Such statements against the IRS only embolden others to act inappropriately and place the entire federal workforce in jeopardy,” Burger said. “This is shameful and unacceptable.”

By Kedar Pavgi

July 27, 2012

http://www.govexec.com/oversight/2012/07/group-reminds-governor-he-owes-feds-apology-gestapo-comments/57061/