Last year, Ohio millionaire Rich Iott marked the demise of his campaign against Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) with the revelation that “he likes to pretend he’s a Nazi,” defending his Nazi reenactments by stating he was “fascinated” with “a relatively small country that from a strictly military point of view accomplished incredible things.” Of course, most Republicans — let alone Ohioans — found this repulsive. The Republican Jewish Coalition “strongly commended Republican Party leaders for moving swiftly to sever ties to Ohio congressional candidate Rich Iott.”
However, it seems House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) didn’t completely cut those strings. After the controversy broke, Boehner stood up next to Iott at a Republican Get Out The Vote rally last year. Then, this February, Iott donated to $2,400 to Boehner’s campaign. Iott also contributed $1,000 to the campaign to Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel’s (R) Senate campaign. The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) called on Boehner and Mandel, who is Jewish, to return the contributions:
“The time is long overdue for Mandel to return the money, or better yet, donate it to a Holocaust memorial. If Mandel continues to keep Iott’s money then he, like House Speaker John Boehner — who stumped for Iott and received a contribution from him recently as well — will continue to give Iott a pass for his disturbing involvement in Nazi reenactments. Failure on this basic test of political courage cannot be an option for any elected official.
The NJDC said they purposefully waited months before calling out Mandel to give him a chance to “act responsibly.” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), who is also Jewish, rebuked Iott’s behavior last year. He and Boehner — and apparently Mandel — “parted ways” when it came to dealing with the Nazi reenacter, Politico reported at the time.