|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
A 91-year-old state representative told a constituent that he believes in eugenics and that the world would be better off without "defective people."
Barrington Republican Martin Harty told Sharon Omand, a Strafford resident who manages a community mental health program, that "the world is too populated" and there are "too many defective people," according to an e-mail account of the conversation by Omand. Asked what he meant, she said Harty clarified, "You know the mentally ill, the retarded, people with physical disabilities and drug addictions - the defective people society would be better off without."
Harty said nature has a way of "getting rid of stupid people," and "now we're saving everyone who gets born."
Harty's conversation with Omand became public at a hearing on the state budget yesterday when Laurie McCray, a registered nurse and board member of the Disability Rights Center, read Omand's account to the House Finance Committee. Afterward, McCray said she wanted people to know about the representative - whom she did not identify publicly - because he "didn't deserve to represent people in New Hampshire."
In an interview and in an e-mail Omand sent to her friends, Omand said she called Harty, who represents her district, to tell him her concerns about the House Finance Committee's proposed cuts to mental health services. Omand said Harty said he disagreed with her and made the comments about eugenics.
Omand says Harty then stated, "I wish we had a Siberia so we could ship them all off to freeze to death and die and clean up the population."
House Speaker William O'Brien said in a statement that he does not endorse Harty's comments but respects "his longstanding commitment to protect the values we cherish."
"As someone who served in General Patton's Army in North Africa and Italy against dictators like Hitler and Mussolini, he has given far more to our country and our ideals than most of us ever will," O'Brien said.