Nov. 2, 2018
District 5 Democratic candidate for state House Laurene Sorensen yesterday called an unnamed “faith group” in Idaho xenophobic and implied her Republican opponent is a Nazi.
The incendiary comments, given at a Democratic Socialists of America forum for Democratic candidates in Moscow last night, were captured on video. The video is on YouTube here.
Sorensen opened by complaining about Idaho, saying she feels like “I’m living in a punchline.”
She then decried the “cultural model” of the “white male establishment” in Boise, and said, “a lot of people are in a faith group down there that has a beautiful tradition of taking care of its own, but that leads to some xenophobia.” She did not specify what “faith group” she was talking about.
Finally, referring to her Republican opponent, incumbent state Rep. Caroline Troy, she said, “I’m running against a woman whose major – you know, she starts all her stump speeches out with, ‘I was born here, I am one of – you know – I’m the fifth generation of my family to be landowners here, I’m the fourth generation to be graduates – of my family to graduate from the University of Idaho,’ and I’m thinking, ‘Sieg Heil.’”
“Sieg Heil” was the phrase used by German Nazis as part of the Nazi salute.
Sorensen’s remarks come on the heels of Democrat Kristin Collum, running for Lieutenant Governor, calling her Republican opponent a “racist” to Idaho Reports yesterday and a “white nationalist” on KID newsradio this morning.
The Idaho Republican Party issued the following statement:
“Laurene Sorensen needs to explain what she meant when she said a ‘faith group’ in Idaho results in xenophobia. Whoever she was talking about, her remarks are bigoted, ignorant and offensive. She should retract them and apologize.
“Secondly, for Sorensen to imply that her Republican opponent is a Nazi simply because she is proud of being an Idahoan is outrageous. Likewise, for Kristin Collum to continually call her opponent a racist and white nationalist, and to allow her army of online trolls to call her opponent a Nazi, is also outrageous. It is an insult to these two fine Republican women and an insult to all Idahoans.
“It is particularly hypocritical for Democrats, particularly Collum, to preach about ‘civil discourse’ when they are stoking such hatred. They need to stop.
“There were several other Democratic candidates sitting with Sorensen at the forum: Cristina McNeil, Rebecca Schroeder and David Nelson. They should also condemn these remarks, as should all Idaho Democrats.
“Finally, it is noteworthy that these horrible remarks came at a forum hosted by the Democratic Socialists of America, a group that proclaims its hatred of the police and of Israel, and in fact has been called out by Jewish Americans for anti-semitism. The DSA wants to abolish ICE, remove all borders, and one of the moderators of the forum wants a total government takeover not just of healthcare but of the entire economy.
“Why any Democrats would associate themselves with such an extremist group should be of concern to every Idahoan.”