LITTLE ROCK — An Republican legislator embattled over his comments about slavery accused Gov. Mike Beebe and Attorney General Dustin McDaniel of using "Nazi-style political intimidation" to stifle political opposition.
In a letter to the Jonesboro Sun on Thursday, Rep. Jon Hubbard, R-Jonesboro, wrote that Beebe, McDaniel and other Democrats were involved in a campaign to force Republican state House candidate Charles Fuqua of Batesville to cancel a fundraiser last week.
Hubbard alleged that "their people" called a Batesville restaurant where the fundraiser was to be held and threatened "to protest if that fundraiser was allowed to take place."
"Does all this political propaganda being put out by (Beebe and McDaniel) and others, remind you, even a little bit, of how Hitler took control of the minds of the German people in the 1930s?" Hubbard wrote.
He wrote that "regardless of one’s political persuasion, this reeks of Nazi-style political intimidation, and it will grow totally out of control if allowed to run unchecked. Is this what we want here in Jonesboro, in Arkansas or in the United States?"
Hubbard is already under fire from Democrats and some officials of his own party for writing in his 2009 self-published book "Letters to the Editor: Confessions of a Frustrated Conservative" that said slavery may have been a "blessing in disguise" for blacks.
Beebe called Hubbard’s comments in his letter "sad" and suggested they could hinder future economic development in the lawmaker’s hometown.
"Every time this kind of stuff hits in other places where people make decisions about where to go, this kind of publicity is very bad and has a chilling effect on that economic development opportunity," the governor said. "Those are the kinds of things people take into consideration on where to go … it’s sad."
McDaniel said in a statement released by his office that "these types of rants are precisely why I believe (Hubbard) is not suited to serve in the General Assembly."
Fuqua and Rep. Loy Mauch, R-Bismarck, have also drawn criticism from both parties in recent weeks for their writings. Fuqua wrote in a book titled "God’s Law" published this year that all Muslims in the United States should be expelled and suggested using the death penalty on rebellious children. Mauch wrote in a letter to the editor to a Little Rock newspaper in 2001 that President Abraham Lincoln was a terrorist.
This week, the Republican Party of Arkansas distanced itself from the three GOP candidates, saying the writings were offensive and did not represent the views of the party. The state’s three Republican congressmen also chastised Hubbard, Mauch and Fuqua for their writings.
"It speaks for itself," Beebe said about Hubbard’s letter to the editor. "Now he blames me and others for whatever problems he’s got in this regard. We didn’t write those letters, we didn’t write that book. It’s easy for him to blame."
Beebe dismissed Hubbard’s comments about him.
"I don’t have time to worry about him," the governor said. "I think the people can figure out who he is and what he is all about. He just keeps doing more and more of the same."
Hubbard and Fuqua did not immediately return calls seeking comment Thursday.