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Dean invokes free speech in response to apology request


XENIA — Rep. Bill Dean said he is not the one who should be apologizing for comments he made at last week’s legislative breakfast.

During the virtual chamber event, Dean, who represents Ohio House District 74, called the coronavirus pandemic a “farce,” stating that it was “perpetrated by the Democrats to get Trump out of office, and some of the Republicans also.” He referred to the perpetrators as “snowflakes.”

The Greene County Democratic Party responded Tuesday — asking Dean to retract his words and apologize for promoting a conspiracy theory.

Dean, a longtime Xenia businessman, said it came down to a matter of rights.

“Well I think they should apologize for wanting to take my free speech rights away,” Dean said by phone Thursday. “Just because you don’t tow the propaganda line don’t mean you don’t have free speech. I think the Democrat and Republican party should repent and ask the American people for forgiveness for the Russian hoax, the impeachment hoax and the pandemic hoax. They illustrated what I’ve been talking about, that communists and fascists do not want you to have free speech. If all free men and women keep their mouths shut we’re just falling into your trap.”

Dean urged at the county breakfast for the elimination of “rules” and for the private sector to get back to work.

On Wednesday, he voted for an amended Senate Bill 1, which would limit orders issued by Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton, and an amended Senate Bill 55, which would lower the penalties for violating those orders.


By Anna Bolton

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