Monday, Jun 18, 2018
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Swastikas deface Iott campaign placards

An Iott sign on the Anthony Wayne Trail near downtown was defaced with the symbol used by the Nazi Party in Adolf Hitler's infamous Third Reich.

In the Wichgreen Farms development off Brint Road in Sylvania, Iott signs were plastered with a swastika-adorned document saying, "You are what you pretend Mr. Iott."

Property owner Joanne Tiedeken, 69, said she was offended by the vandalism and called the Lucas County Democratic Party to complain. She was assured the party had no involvement in the vandalism.

She said she remains "wholeheartedly" in support of Mr. Iott, despite his recently revealed past activity of putting on a Waffen SS uniform as part of a re-enactment group.

"I vote for who I want. I don't vote Republican. I don't vote Democrat. I vote for the best person. Right now we're going down the tubes and I don't like that," Ms. Tiedeken said.

Mr. Iott is running against Democratic incumbent Miss Kaptur on Nov. 2 to represent the 9th Congressional District.

The Republican candidate issued a statement saying the vandalism was offensive and disrespectful, "especially [to] those of the Jewish faith."

"I also hope the Kaptur campaign, and those who are pushing this false story of Nazism, will stop inciting these hateful actions," Mr. Iott said.

Mr. Iott's participation in re-enactments of the feared Wiking division of the Waffen SS has been decried by two area Jewish rabbis as offensive to Jews.

Mr. Iott said he participated in the Nazi re-enactment group as a bonding experience with his son out of a shared interest in military history and said he condemns the atrocities of the Nazis. He said his re-enactment activity has been hyped by his opponent for political purposes.

The Atlantic, a national news magazine, on Friday published photos online of Mr. Iott in a Waffen SS soldier uniform, along with a story.

Mary Chris Skeldon, spokesman for Miss Kaptur, said some of Miss Kaptur's signs have been stolen in the past week, but she hasn't tried to blame Mr. Iott or the news media.

"Obviously we condemn vandalism of any kind, including that of political signs," she said. "For him to blame the actions of others on our campaign is ridiculous and a sign of desperation."

In cross fact-checking, the Iott campaign Tuesday disputed Miss Kaptur's claim in the debate that she had never met Mr. Iott before introducing herself to him at a parade in Point Place in June.

The Iott campaign said that she appointed Mr. Iott to the United States Military Academy Board, which screens applications and appointments to the military academies, but did not cite a year.

The Iott campaign also said that Miss Kaptur was Mr. Iott's guest of honor at the Ohio Military Reserve's annual training at Camp Perry, where she was named an honorary captain, though again no date was given.

"If Marcy Kaptur doesn't remember Rich Iott, then the only possible explanation is that Marcy Kaptur does not take seriously whom she appoints to important positions like this," Iott campaign spokesman Matt Parker said.

The Kaptur campaign took issue with Mr. Iott's assertion during the debate that Ohio is the No. 1 trade partner for the North American Free Trade Agreement countries among all states.

Kaptur spokesman Steve Fought said in fact Ohio was fourth among the states, with Texas in first with $69.8 billion in exports to NAFTA countries in 2009, compared with Ohio's trade of $16.9 billion reported the same year.

The subject arose during an exchange over NAFTA, which Miss Kaptur said has destroyed Ohio manufacturing jobs.

Mr. Iott said Ohio manufacturers are at a disadvantage because of the United States' high corporate tax.

Contact Tom Troy at:

or 419-724-6058.

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