Civil rights group ousts Vt. leader

By DAVE GRAM / Associated Press

Wednesday December 8, 2010

MONTPELIER — The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has ousted the chairman of its Vermont affiliate over an essay he wrote likening a “Pure Vermont” campaign slogan by the losing gubernatorial candidate to the Nazi leadership’s emphasis on pure German ethnicity.

The federal commission voted in Washington on Friday to dismiss Curtiss Reed Jr. from his post as chairman of its State Advisory Committee, also citing remarks he made in a 2008 Vermont Public Radio interview criticizing the Bush administration.

“The question of free speech is essential to this,” Reed told the Reformer on Tuesday. “As private citizens we have a right to express our points of view. Taking retribution for having spoken my mind … it’s rather ridiculous coming from the Commission on Civil Rights.”

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