Statement of Congressional Candidate Rich Iott Regarding Eric Cantor, (R-VA)

October 11, 2010 - The Holocaust was an atrocity. When people first starting hearing the stories, they didn't believe them. Who could do such a thing? But as Germany was defeated, and reporters started to document the horrors of the death camps, the world came face to face with the evil perpetrated upon Jews. We were disgusted and outraged and, since then, have focused on the phrase 'never forget' - as we should. Especially today when Holocaust deniers include heads of nations, we must never, ever forget the abominations that were committed.

Military reenactments are one way to bring attention to the battles that were fought. They are a historically accurate re-creation of various battles, complete with authentic dress and equipment. But they're not just about the battles - they focus attention on the overall war and why it was fought in the first place. Whether a participant or observer, we learn from these reenactments - and if we do not learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it.

Photos have surfaced of me in a German military uniform. There has also been photos of me in American military uniforms from World War I and World War II and ones of me and my son in Civil War Union uniforms. Also, I have made it clear in many occasions, that throughout my historical reenactments I have never meant any disrespect to those adversely affected by the tragedies of war, to veterans, or to the Jewish Community.

Of course, after the publication of the hit piece in Atlantic Monthly, my opponent piled on - repeating the warped perspective that one reporter presented without bothering to know the whole truth. A lie of omission is still a lie and this was a deliberate character assassination.

More disappointing is the reaction of Congressman Eric Cantor, who didn't seem to care about the facts, but only the self-serving politics of the moment. While I expect my detractors to accept what they read from a biased media story as the entire story, I didn't expect someone within my own party to be so completely disregarding of the truth, nor that they would take public positions without having all the facts - or at least trying to determine what the facts are. I guess I should not be surprised that many career politicians - on both sides of the aisle - care more about potential political implications than the truth of an issue that got me involved in running for office in the first place. Eric Cantor showed me yesterday that he is less concerned about truth or helping Republicans win elections and more concerned with his own image. His uninformed words yesterday sum up why I originally entered this race as an independent.

I am running to represent the people of the 9th Congressional District - not a political party. I will be doing the best service to my party when I do the best service to my constituents by standing up for what is right and standing against what is wrong - regardless of who is standing with, or against, me. In the end, the truth will win out.

I knew when I entered this race that entrenched politicians who care more about power than true representation would work against me with all kinds of wild accusations and lies. These types of attacks are part of the reason why good people don't bother to get involved in running for office. They're also why too many people have such a negative view of politicians.

Throughout the campaign, I've focused on the issues. I've done exactly what Marcy Kaptur said in her first campaign that we should all do - pay attention to how a person votes when they go to Washington. I've highlighted her voting record and stated how I would have voted differently. I've highlighted the differences in philosophy we have when it comes to the proper role of the federal government and I've talked about my experience running everything from a small start-up company to a multi-million dollar chain. I've talked about how my experience as a person who has actually created jobs gives me a perspective that is so needed today in Washington, especially with the state of the economy.

She has attacked me personally - first with lies about Food Town, and now regarding my participation in military reenactments. That's not what voters want to hear about. Voters want to know what we're going to do when we go to Washington and whether we're going to vote to continue the failed policies that have been put in place over the past two years or whether we're going to work to put this country back on the path our founders set us upon - the path of free markets, individual liberty, personal responsibility and limited government.

I have faith that the voters will judge the candidates in the race for the 9th Congressional District based upon the issues.

- Rich Iott

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"I knew when I entered this race that entrenched politicians who care more about power than true representation would work against me with all kinds of wild accusations and lies. These types of attacks are part of the reason why good people don't bother to get involved in running for office. They're also why too many people have such a negative view of politicians."

He's absolutely right there.

Political Championship Wrestling- putting politics in proper perspective by presenting it as pro wrestling.

Coming in January, a political satire about the sorry state of American Politics- Jesusland vs. Progressiveville.

"A lie of omission is still a lie and this was a deliberate character assassination".

We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.-Ben Franklin

Marcy better be careful. Iott may threaten to send a "Third World" roommate to live with her.

Pink Slip

a friend of mine said today that it's a good thing Iott never portrayed Pontius Pilate!

The dry cleaner called. Your uniform's ready for pick-up.

Patience is a great virtue.

(cross-posted from a thread on another board)

I cannot believe Rich Iott thinks the best solution to his PR crisis is to go on national television and keep associating the words "Rick Iott" and "Nazi" over and over and over. He would have been infinitely better off sending CNN a written statement, or just dismissing their request with something like "this is so utterly preposterous as to be unworthy of comment."

Instead, the guy keeps making a lousy PR situation even worse. While the far right will undoubtedly whine about "liberal media attack politics," Iott just keeps giving the media fresh ammunition with which to help him torpedo his campaign. Moreover, there is some serious incompetence (or inexperience) being displayed by the people advising Iott: he keeps alive the news story he wants to die a natural death, and (worse) he attacks the GOP leaders who have distanced themselves from his campaign after the Waffen-SS uniform controversy (like Cantor in the above statement).

This campaign should be closely studied by anyone considering a run in politics for the lessons it offers on how a candidate can quickly self-destruct. Some of this could be chalked up to Iott's political inexperience, but much of the problem is with the stubbornness (arrogance?) of Iott and his advisors. This is a PR problem that: a) should have been defused before the campaign began by putting the Waffen-SS re-enactments in a context with his other re-enactment activities; and b) has been made infinitely worse by the ill-advised statements Iott made (and keeps making).

At this rate, a race I once saw as something like 53-47 in favor of Kaptur is going to be a landslide, and Iott will have trouble matching the election numbers of the likes of Bradley Leavitt and Ed Emery. Finally, Iott should also have better prepared for the inevitable Foodtown attacks, and I think he made a fatal mistake of waiting for Kaptur to take the initiative with the Foodtown ads. Iott has been in backpedal mode for about two months, and a campaign that looked quite viable in July looks DOA right about now.

I think that's a pretty good analysis of it.

Political Championship Wrestling- putting politics in proper perspective by presenting it as pro wrestling.

Coming in January, a political satire about the sorry state of American Politics- Jesusland vs. Progressiveville.

I saw Iott food-shopping at Wal-Mart dressed in an SS uniform. But you gotta love the guy. Who among us hasn't or hasn't wanted to impersonate Nazis? God bless him for living his dream.

Patience is a great virtue.

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