Governor removes Anchorage Assembly member from human rights commission after controversial comments about Nazi license plates
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy removed Anchorage Assembly Member Jamie Allard from her position on the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights after she posted controversial comments on social media about Nazi license plates, according to a statement from the governor’s office Tuesday.
Concerns about license plates issued by the Division of Motor Vehicles swept through social media over the weekend, after a former Alaska journalist posted a photo of a Hummer with the license plate “3REICH.”
“I hate Alaska Nazis,” Matt Tunseth wrote in a tweet sharing the photo.
Another license plate once issued by the DMV read “FUHRER.” Both terms are associated with Adolf Hitler, Nazi Germany and white supremacy.
A statement from the Department of Administration on Monday said both plates were previously recalled by the DMV and that law enforcement agencies would be alerted the plates are unauthorized.
“The Alaska DMV has strict guidelines and protocols for issuing personalized license plates, which prohibit references to violence, drugs, law enforcement, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and other government entities. The DMV has a recall process in place should a plate be issued that later is determined to be inappropriate or offensive, which was used in this circumstance,” DOA Commissioner Kelly Tshibaka said in the written statement.
A list of dozens of other plates denied in the last two years includes words ranging from “GETNKD” and “BOOBS,” to others a DOA spokesperson described as “highly offensive.”
Both “FUHRER” and “3REICH” are on the list supplied by the DOA, with the latter being banned in early January.
Allard, a conservative who represents Chugiak and Eagle River residents on the Anchorage Assembly, weighed in on the controversy on social media.
“Fuhrer means leader or guide in Deutsch, Reich is realm. 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,” she wrote in a comment that has been shared widely through screenshots on social media.
She went on to express concern about the future of the word “taco” and wrote, “Ban on foreign words? Do they know how idiotic they sound?”
When reached by phone for comment Tuesday, Allard read the following statement:
“I will say that some political bloggers and assembly members are claiming I am supporting white supremacy because of recent comments I made questioning words are not allowed on license plates. Let me state this plainly, my father was 100% Chilean, and I am proud of my heritage as a Chilean Latina. As a person of color myself, I unequivocally condemn racism and white supremacy in all forms. I understand some have misinterpreted my recent comments as defending a specific license plate, that was never my intention, nor have I done so. In fact, I find that the plate in question is in poor taste. I do not support any application of racism or race supremacy in any way. My apologies that this came across offensive. I was posting as a private citizen, and I realize I no longer have that luxury.”
Allard responded to follow up questions by restating parts of the same prepared statement.
She was appointed to the Human Rights Commission in August of 2019. Before termination, her term would have ended on March 1, 2024.
Tuesday, a spokesperson in the Governor’s Office released the following statement about Allard’s removal from the Human Rights Commission:
“The comments made by Ms. Allard regarding the license plate controversy have become a distraction for the Human Rights Commission and its mission to ensure equality and fair treatment of all Alaskans. Governor Dunleavy felt it was in the best interest of the board to remove her effective immediately,” the emailed statement read.
Allard did not respond to additional attempts to reach her for comment regarding her removal from the commission.
According to the DOA, DMV management is conducting a full review of the program that issues license plates, and a report is to be completed next Friday.
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