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Lawmaker out amid criticism of online forum

By HOLLY RAMER Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. -- A Republican lawmaker who was criticized for creating a misogynistic online forum resigned Wednesday, citing concerns for the safety of his loved ones and himself.

The resignation of Rep. Robert Fisher of Laconia came shortly after his Republican colleagues voted to recommend the full House take no action against him and after Democrats said they would ask the attorney general to investigate him.

Fisher had come under fire after a recent article on The Daily Beast revealed him as the creator of a Reddit forum called "The Red Pill," which bills itself as a discussion of sexual strategies for men and includes a post in which users debate whether "every woman wants to be attractive enough to be raped."

He resigned less than an hour after a Republican-led committee voted 8-6 along party lines to recommend that the full House take no action against him.

"Unfortunately, the falsehoods, lies and comments of an overzealous blogger and some of my colleagues have created a situation where I must genuinely consider the safety and wellbeing of my girlfriend, my family, and myself," he said in an email. "I'm happy that the House committee stood firm for free speech today, it is with a heavy heart that I will be unable to complete my term."

The panel simultaneously recommended no action against Democratic Rep. Sherry Frost of Dover, who wrote on Twitter that men telling her to calm down makes her homicidal and that white Christian men represent a terrorist problem.

Rep. Sherman Packard, R-Londonderry, made the motion that the committee recommend no action against either lawmaker, said he didn't believe the committee could recommend they be censured, reprimanded or expelled based on the constitutionally protected right of free speech.

The panel's investigation was limited to reviewing the lawmakers' activity this year. Fisher said at a hearing last week that he no longer moderates the forum. Democrats on the House Legislative Administration Committee disputed that, and Democratic House Minority Leader Steve Shurtleff said he would ask the attorney general's office to investigate whether Fisher committed perjury.Shurtleff said he no longer planned to do so given Fisher's resignation.

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