The Arizona congressional candidate who claimed last week that “99 percent” of mass shootings in the United States were perpetrated by Democrats is under fire again for statements in which he allegedly compared Arizona police to the Nazi’s elite SS guard.
According to the Arizona Republic, Republican congressional candidate and hotel owner Gary Kiehne was complaining to reporters about the difficulties he faced trying to get employees through police checkpoints during the 2011 Wallow Fire. He reportedly said that the police manning the checkpoints were like Nazi SS agents and all too willing “to shoot you and me.”
A campaign spokesman for Kiehne, Chris Baker, wrote in an email to the Republic that his candidate was taken out of context. He said that Kiehne “always wondered how German soldiers in [World War II] could turn on their own people with martial law, but after seeing martial law implemented during the Wallow Fire, he understood how it could happen.”
Upon learning of the comments, the Arizona Police Association and the Arizona Fraternal Order of Police both called for Kiehne to withdraw from the race. In a letter, the Fraternal Order of Police said that the candidate had “lost any and all credibility,”
“It’s rare that a candidate for the United States Congress makes a statement as repugnant and offensive as your comments to the Arizona Republic,” the letter continued. “We need adults in office, Mr. Kiehne. For that reason alone, you should terminate your campaign immediately.”
Campaign spokesman Baker wrote in an email to the Republic that “[c]onsidering that the [Arizona Fraternal Order of Police] letter is based upon a reporter’s characterization of comments that the campaign strongly disagrees with, we are going to pass on responding to their letter.”
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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