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Alaska lawmaker removed from panel after defense of Nazi phrase

Alaska lawmaker Jamie Allard was removed from her position on the state's Human Rights Commission on Tuesday after she posted remarks on social media defending the use of Nazi phrases on two custom Alaska license plates.

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) called for Allard's removal following the incident.

“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,” Dunleavy spokesman Jeff Turner wrote in a statement to Alaska Public Media. “Governor Dunleavy felt it was in the best interest of the board to remove her effective immediately.”

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The license plates in question featured the phrases “FUHRER” and “3REICH," which are both words that are closely linked to Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler. Photos of the plates were circulated on social media and stirred calls for them to be revoked, Alaska Public Media reported.

Allard, who is also a member of the Anchorage Assembly District 2, responded to the photos on her since-deleted Facebook page stating that the words “fuhrer” and “reich” are just German words without any negative or offensive connotation, according to Alaska Public Media reported.

“I appreciate the opportunity to serve Alaskans both on the Anchorage Assembly and previously on the Human Rights Commission. I unequivocally condemn racism in every form, and support the mission of the commission 100%. In light of recent attacks against me, I feel it is best to step aside, so the commission can focus on its work, and it will allow me more time to focus on my Assembly duties," Allard said of her recent removal in a statement to Alaska Public Media.

The Alaska Department of Administration stated in a Facebook post on Monday that the license plates have been recalled by the state's Department of Motor Vehicles and local law enforcement has been notified regarding the situation.

"We were made aware several Alaskans were concerned about messages conveyed on Alaska personalized vehicle registration plates. The plates in question had previously been recalled by the DMV, and the DMV issued replacement standard plates to be displayed," the administration wrote. "We are notifying law enforcement that these plates are unauthorized by the DMV."

Updated at 10:22 a.m.