Fmr. Ohio Senate President Faces Criticism For Memorial Remarks

By
Alyssa Hansen

Dateline
Updated Fri, Apr 6, 2012 10:41 am

The head of the organization that oversees the Ohio Statehouse is facing criticism from the Ohio Jewish community for remarks he made earlier this week about a Holocaust memorial at the Statehouse.              

Richard Finan, former Ohio Senate president, expressed his disappointment Tuesday with Governor John Kasich's decision to build a Holocaust memorial on Statehouse grounds without consultation.        

The former state senator said that it opens the door to anyone looking to build a monument and used the example of a statue of the Disney character Donald Duck.

"All one has to do now is go to the governor, and say 'I want a statue of Donal Duck on the Statehouse grounds' and if he gets convcined of it, boom, it goes," Finan said Tuesday.

Joyce Garver Keller, the executive director of Ohio Jewish Communities, says Finan could have used another metaphor.

"I think it was an unfortunate reference, clearly inappropriate, and somewhat insensitive," said Keller.

Finan says his remarks were directed toward Governor Kasich's actions and not the Holocaust.        

Finan says that he sincerely apologizes if the Jewish community was offended by his remarks.

Alyssa Hansen is a fellow at Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism Statehouse News Bureau. 

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