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Rich Iott, Republican Teabagger candidate for the OH-09 Congressional seat currently held by Marcy Kaptur (D), wants you to know that despite the fact that he spends weekends dressed up as a Nazi SS officer, he's very pro-Jewish. So he went out and got his Jewiest friend to write a note vouching for him:

Below is a statement from Richard Gabai, a friend of Rich Iott and his family

Oct 11, 2010
I have known and worked closely with Rich Iott for many years.

First things first; Rich Iott is one of the most pro-Jewish, pro-Israel people I know.

We are business partners and very close personal friends.  One of the first things I explained to Rich when we started working together was that I don’t work on Shabbat – the Jewish Sabbath. He said, "That’s great, I’m glad you take a break every week and spend quality time with your family!"

Rich has been a true friend in a business in which that is very hard to come by.  He is the only Executive Producer that I have ever worked with that has wanted to re-negotiate a deal after the fact to improve the terms for me; this is unheard of.  "You’ve worked so hard for us," he told me, "you deserve a bigger piece of the film."

Rich has been an overnight guest in our Kosher home, his wife Chris, and their children Ian and Devon, are always welcome.  My wife especially enjoys visiting with Chris.

When Rich and I were at the Cannes film festival he was excited to join me at an orthodox Shabbat dinner.   He had a great time speaking with the Rabbis and we all enjoyed a very festive and spiritual evening.

Anytime the subject comes up Rich is not shy about his stance on Israel and the importance of it remaining a Jewish state.  I know he also traveled to Israel to train with their airborne troops.

Anyone who doubts his integrity based on the re-enacting he does, be it Civil War or either of the world wars, is making a big mistake.

Rich Iott is most honorable.  I cherish his friendship, and I am proud to endorse his candidacy.

Richard Gabai
Los Angeles, CA

How Jewy is he? Shabbat! Kosher! Rabbis! Happy because Iott gave him more money!

Seriously, though, while I think dressing up like a Nazi for historical reenactment is creepy, and is certainly questionable behavior for anyone thinking about running for Congress (which Iott says isn't really something he ever did, by the way), he's not actually a Nazi, so the note from his Jewish friend wasn't really necessary.

But I understand the instinct.

So let's move on instead to something I find even more interesting than the Jew confetti cannon we were just blasted with. It's this:

He is the only Executive Producer that I have ever worked with that has wanted to re-negotiate a deal after the fact to improve the terms for me; this is unheard of.  "You’ve worked so hard for us," he told me, "you deserve a bigger piece of the film."


When Rich and I were at the Cannes film festival he was excited to join me at an orthodox Shabbat dinner.

Executive Producer? Bigger piece of the film? Cannes film festival?!


Here's what Iott has to say about his professional life on his web site:

He worked his way up from carryout clerk to management assignments. He was appointed President of the company in 1989 and CEO in 1997, retiring in 2000 when the company merged with Spartan Foods. Recognizing that he had knowledge and expertise to contribute, Rich then became involved in various entrepreneurial, start-up companies in the Toledo area ranging from salsa to 3D imaging, all of which have proven successful.

Successful local businessman. Great! Perfect for the Teabaggers! And today? Why, he's... uh... involved in various entrepreneurial, start-up companies! And salsa! And 3D imaging! And success!

Successes like... uh... well, what about being an Executive Producer of films that are so successful that he can afford to give his friend a bigger cut? And films so successful that he attends the world-renowned Cannes Film Festival? Those are... where in this description of his professional life?

Well, they're nowhere, of course. Because in Teabaggerville, local businessman trumps Hollywood movie producer any day of the week, and twice on Sunday Saturday!

But a movie producer he is, nonetheless. The Internet Movie Database says so, even if Rich himself is too modest to brag about it. Who can forget such smash hits as Never Cry Werewolf, and Yeti: Curse of the Snow Demon?

Surely not his character witness, Richard Gabai.

Richard Gabai?

Richard Gabai, producer of Hot Under the Collar, Virgin High, Midnight Tease II, Virtual Girl 2: Virtual Vegas, and Assault of the Party Nerds 2: The Heavy Petting Detective? Writer of fully 18 episodes of the late night Cinemax softcore porn series The Voyeur?

That Richard Gabai? Was... your..... character....... witness?

Wow, that's a very different picture than I got from all that Shabbat, Kosher, Rabbis talk! Even if they were French Rabbis! How about you?

Look, there's nothing wrong with Teabagger-endorsed Super-Patriots who dress like Nazis and hide their professional relationships with softcore porn movie writers. I'm sure if I look around carefully enough, I'll find a best friend who does the same thing, and will vouch for me the way Gabai did for Iott. (Take that, haters!)

I don't believe Iott is a Nazi. And I don't believe there's anything unseemly about the movies he's produced. (Gabai is a different story, but hey, he's a slave to the free market. What can he do?) All I'm saying is that I want to lay down the marker that I don't ever want to be lectured about my patriotism by an Iron Cross dresser, or about the evils of pop culture and Hollywood Elites by an Executive Producer who rubs elbows with French Rabbis in Cannes.

That, and I'd like to put out the call for a little more honesty, as naive as that may sound. If you're a Frenchified movie producer with a weekend SS hobby, maybe signing on with the Teabaggers isn't for you. And maybe Ohio's 9th District just doesn't need a Teabagger in Congress all that badly, anyway. It's quite enough that Teahadis force gays and lesbians into the closet. Let's not facilitate their pushing movie producers in there as well.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Oct 12, 2010 at 08:18 AM PDT.

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