2012-04-22: Smoke-free air laws equated to Hitler’s Nazi Germany by U.S. Senate candidate

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In 1995, former Tobacco Institute lobbyist, Victor Crawford, was interviewed on CBS-TV 60 Minutes, admitting that he did whatever it took to defeat legislative smoke-free air efforts, even if it meant lying, as long as he wasn’t under oath. He said he did this because his job was to win, in which he was very successful. Crawford said that he had coined the phrase “health Nazis” to attack his opponents, and frame them as over-the-top zealots taking away people’s basic freedoms.

The tactic hasn’t gone out of fashion, as evidenced by freedom-loving West Virginia U.S. Senate candidate, John Raese, running in this year’s election. A video of an April 12 appearance posted on Youtube shows the Morgantown Republican criticizing his home county’s indoor smoke-free air law. He said requiring stickers on buildings declaring them smoke-free is comparable to how “Hitler used to put a Star of David on everybody’s lapel.”

An Associated Press story published April 19, 2012, in the Washington Post titled Raese slammed by Jewish human rights group for invoking Hitler in smoking ordinance comment, also noted:

The Wisenthal Center on Thursday said the remark betrays an ignorance of the horrors inflicted by the Nazis and demonstrates callousness to the millions of Jews they murdered.

The Morgantown Republican said he does not care about the reaction by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and defended his statement as “reciting history.” The state Democratic Party’s chairman also criticized the comment.

In my view, likening smoke-free air laws to the Nazi persecution of Jews is despicable.

Here’s a 1:09 minute YouTube video clip of John Raese which inckudes these remarks:

3 responses to “2012-04-22: Smoke-free air laws equated to Hitler’s Nazi Germany by U.S. Senate candidate

  1. Of course the would be senator is not the first to make the comparison. Here is a piece done by Rabbi Lapin back in 2004.


    Marshall P. Keith

    mogasp comment: In my preface I pointed out that Victor Crawford reportedly coined the Nazi epithet to label his opponents but I’ve seen it used repeatedly since.

    • @ Mogasp, yes but it is usually improperly used against those on the right as pointed out by Rabbi Lapin. It is correct that National Socialist were the right wing of the socialist party, it is hardly the right wing of the political spectrum. I notice you called him “freedom loving” so I guess he is not in that category. Socialism in all its forms is repressive and is responsible for more deaths then any other political system so “Godwin’s Law” need not apply. Smoking bans are repressive and strip property rights away from the property owner and dictates whose lifestyle must be catered to.

      Marshall P Keith

  2. I can see where smoking bans could be considered a form of racial purification. Or more generally, trying to eliminate smokers from society is racial purification.

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