OH Congressional Candidate Iott Involved in Nazi Re-enactments
Congressional candidate Rich Iott, a Republican running in Ohio's ninth district, has recently faced criticism after photographs surfaced of him dressed in a Nazi uniform sometime in the mid-2000s. According to the Atlantic, Iott is a former member of a group called Wiking that participates in Nazi re-enactments. The group's website states that it is "a nonprofit, nonpolitical organization dedicated to the preservation of the history of WW II and the lifestyle of the German combat soldier (specifically Waffen-SS foreign volunteers)," according to the New York Times.
According to the Atlantic, Iott's name first appears on the organization's roster in 2003. He was involved with the group under the alias "Richard Pferdmann," in order to "get into the persona of the time period...create this person largely based on a Germanized version of their name." Iott has expressed admiration for the military successes of the Nazis during World War II, stating, "I've always been fascinated by the fact that here was a relatively small country that from a strictly military point of view accomplished incredible things," reported Atlantic.
In his congressional race, Iott faces incumbent Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D), who has condemned the pictures. Kaptur spokesman Steve Foster told the Toledo Blade, "The Waffen SS was found to be a criminal organization...At a minimum, it calls into question [Iott's] judgment." According to Politico, House Minority Whip Republican Eric Cantor (R-VA) also condemned Iott's involvement.
Iott's campaign has refused to apologize for the photographs. "Rich Iott is not a Nazi," his campaign spokesman Matt Parker told the Toledo Blade. "He's not going to apologize for being involved in historical re-enactments."
Media Resources: Atlantic 10/8/10; New York Times 10/11/10; Toledo Blade 10/10/10; Politico 10/12/10
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
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This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .