Ben Kling, 21, the artist behind the "Be Mein" Hitler valentines an Arizona tea party leader considered handing out to lawmakers, responded Friday to the news that his work had been politicized.
"I mean, I think dissent is important," Kling told TPM in an email. "Are they within their rights to compare, however gracelessly, pro-union legislators to Hitler? Sure. It's just not entirely accurate, nor is it a terribly original thing to cry Adolf when you disagree with a politician. Also, I made those cards for my high school history teacher, so it's kind of hilarious that my name's now attached to materials being used by radical political groups when the intention was just to deliver a pun related to an AP History curriculum."
As TPM reported Thursday, Stephen Viramontes, the interim director of FreedomWorks in Arizona, canceled plans to distribute the cards. Other cards featured Fidel Castro, Joseph Stalin, Karl Marx and others.
Kling said the group didn't contact him or ask for permission to use his work. "The write-up was the first I heard of it," he said.
Here is a photo of the Hitler valentine:
This post has been updated.