Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin, who represents parts of Albany, Columbia, Greene and Rensselaer Counties, made the controversial remarks while answering a question about comments that Cuomo acted like a dictator when he expedited the passage of a sweeping package of gun control policy last month using a “message of necessity.”
“When you throw a bill at us in 20 minutes, and we’re told basically to shut up and vote, if that’s not dictatorial, I don’t know what is,” McLaughlin said.
He continued, “Hitler would be proud, Mussolini would be proud of what we did here. Moscow would be proud, but that’s not democracy.”
Hours later – amid reports that his fellow Republican state lawmakers thought the remarks were inappropriate – McLaughlin released a video apology, in which he said he had called Governor Cuomo to personally apologize.
“I made an analogy that I should not have made and I’m very, very sorry about that,” he said. “I’ve called the governor to apologize, he did not deserve that.”
McLaughlin made the comment at a press conference with Assemblymen Jim Tedisco, Tony Jordon, and State Senator Greg Ball, advocating for a “NYS Government Transparency Act” which the lawmakers said would stop what they described as the abuse of the use of “messages of necessity” and prevent legislative action between midnight and 8 a.m.
WAMC News Intern Eric Krupke contributed to this report.