ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Anchorage Assembly has voted to indefinitely postpone a resolution against one of its own members who was criticized for online comments about vehicle license plates that appeared to glorify Nazis.
The assembly voted unanimously Tuesday against the measure that would have publicly acknowledged Jamie Allard’s behavior as actions breaching the public trust, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
Allard drew public criticism for social media comments she made in late January as photos of state-issued vanity plates reading “FUHRER” and “3REICH” circulated online.
The Nazi regime in Germany was referred to as the Third Reich, with its leader, Adolf Hitler, known as the Fuhrer.
Allard said “fuhrer” in German means leader and “reich” means realm, in social media comments in response to a blogger’s article about the plates.
“If you speak the language fluently, you would know that the English definition of the word, the progressives have put a spin on it and created their own definition,” Allard wrote, adding in another comment that she is “not for banning free speech.”
Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy, a Republican, subsequently removed Allard from the Alaska Human Rights Commission.
Allard said in a statement at Tuesday’s assembly meeting that she denounces racism and did not violate the city’s laws or ethics code.
“I have always and will continue to unequivocally denounce racism 100%. I have never defended racism in any form, regardless of what fantasy members of this body or the media portray,” Allard said. “This is a pathetic attempt to create division within our community for political gain.”
None of her comments supported racism and were not made in her official capacity, Allard said.
The resolution was sponsored by Assembly member Meg Zaletel, who said she searched for a way to censure or discipline Allard but found there was no public process in the city’s code or code of ethics.
Several assembly members said the lack of a censure or discipline process was their reason for voting to indefinitely postpone the resolution, which listed multiple accusations against Allard.
Member Kameron Perez-Verdia said the license plates were “clearly hate speech.”
”Any effort to defend that is wrong,” he said. “But I don’t think this is the right process for us to go through, either.”
The resolution could set the stage for assembly members to launch “never-ending political attacks on each other for whatever it appears to be the offense of the day,” member Crystal Kennedy said.