Democratic leaders in the state Senate have discussed the controversial remarks made by Kentucky lawmaker who compared President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler on a conspiracy theorist website, but caucus leaders won’t say if any action will be taken.
Last week, state Sen. Perry Clark, D-Louisville, called for the president to step down or face impeachment over what he calls the “unconstitutional” debt ceiling legislation. Clark says the bill is a “direct echo” of legislation that handed over power to the Nazi dictator in 1933.
Asked about possible censure, Democratic caucus leaders said they have discussed the remarks amongst themselves, but won’t disclose what disciplinary action—if any—will be taken against the state lawmaker.
“I think that would be a personal caucus matter. But it’s something that we continue to discuss,” says state Senate Minority Leader R.J. Palmer. “Again, it’s the opinion of Senator Clark and not the Senate Democratic caucus. I think people understand that there are 15 Democratic Senators and no one individual speaks for everyone.”
Other elected officials have suggested an ethics inquiry due to Clark using official state letterhead in his remarks and some local party leaders have called for Clark to step down as a legislative chair in the Jefferson County Democratic Party.
State Sen. Tim Shaughnessy, D-Louisville, wouldn’t comment on whether Clark should be reprimanded by the Senate, but he says the remarks went over the line and warranted his denunciation.
“Let me just say that I think it’s unfortunate and way out of bounds for anyone to compare the President of the United States to one of the most evil figures throughout the history of the world. I would stand in opposition for that type of comparison regardless of who made it,” he says.
Clark has not responded to repeated requests for comment.