AZ Republican Candidate Compared Police Officers To Nazi SS Agents

Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

The same Republican candidate for Congress from Arizona who recently claimed that “99 percent” of mass shooters are Democrats, has also compared the police to Nazis, according to The Arizona Republic.

Gary Kiehne, a hotel owner, complained in a Thursday interview with the Republic about police evacuation checkpoints set up during the devastating Wallow Fire in 2011.

Referring to Nazi SS agents and paramilitary officers, Kiehne said the police were willing to “shoot you and me,” according to the Republic.

Kiehne has apologized for his statement about mass shooters, but his campaign denied the Nazi comparisons he made.

Campaign spokesman Chris Baker said that Kiehne “expressing disappointment about the way the police had acted during the Wallow Fire.”

According to Baker, 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.”

The Arizona Fraternal Order of Police has called on the candidate to drop out of the race, but Baker refused to comment on the group’s statement.

“Considering 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,” Baker wrote in an email to the Republic.

Kiehne has also made controversial statements about undocumented immigrants, comparing them to Vietnamese refugees.

“How many illegal aliens, I mean, how many people did we bring here after the Vietnam conflict? Half a million? 300,000? Know why we didn’t get 11 million? They couldn’t swim that far,” he said at a March forum, according to the Republic. “We got 11 million (illegal immigrants) … because they could walk (across the U.S.-Mexico border). … If this country is ever invaded it will be invaded from the south.”

As of first-quarter campaign finance filings for 2014, Kiehne was leading his two main GOP primary opponents in terms of fundraising.

Latest Livewire
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: