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Indiana lawmaker defends post after calling critic 'stupid' on social media

Posted at 10:12 PM, Feb 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-03 23:01:35-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- An Indiana lawmaker is defending himself after he called a critic of his bill that would prohibit car sales that are not made at dealerships “stupid” on Twitter. 

Rep. Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso) said he was irritated with Don Brown's remark because he had "spent many hours and much effort" on the legislation. 

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"HB 1592 is nothing but an idiotic sop to the dealership association. Move into the 21st century. This stupid bill is bad for IN," Don Brown said in a Tweet Thursday evening. 

Soliday fired back "@DonBrownIndy not nearly as stupid as you are!!!!"

Soliday has since deactivated his social media accounts.

He issued the following statement Friday evening:

"My comment to Don Brown on Twitter was not meant to be a personal insult. It was a quick reaction and shouldn't have happened. It was made after I spent many hours and much effort to successfully strike a compromise with all stakeholders. His statement on House Bill 1592 seemed counterproductive to the great progress made on the legislation."

Soliday has staunchly defended his bill which had been dubbed the "Tesla Bill" by proponents because it would have originally made it difficult for Tesla to sell cars in Indiana.

The bill has since been amended to grandfather Tesla in. 

Proponents of the bill, like Soliday, say it protects dealerships from auto companies getting bought out by overseas companies and selling the cars directly, potentially putting the dealerships out of business. 

Those against the bill say it was aimed directly at Tesla and is intended to discourage the growth of the electric technology that Tesla uses. 

The bill has since been amended to grandfather Tesla with a line that says manufacturers that registered before July 1, 2015, can sell directly. 

Soliday is not the first lawmaker to get into trouble on social media in recent weeks. 

Rep. Jim Lucas apologized for a Facebook post he shared showing a police officer in riot gear pepper spraying a woman in the face that read: "Participation trophies, now in liquid form."

Sen. Jack Sandlin also removed a Facebook post that was shared on his account that pictured a large group walking in the women's march and read: "In one day, Trump got more fat women out walking, than Michelle Obama did in 8 years."

RELATED | Ind. Senator Jack Sandlin criticized for offensive Facebook post about women's march| State representative apologizes for 'participation trophies' post