Arizona lobbyist attacks rival with Hitler video

Lobbyist apologizes for controversial Hitler video

A prominent Arizona Capitol lobbyist is under fire for circulating a video that uses an actor portraying Adolf Hitler to attack a rival who is Jewish.

The video attacks Rodney Glassman, who was the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate in 2010 and now works as an attorney and lobbyist for a Phoenix law firm.

Stan Barnes, a former Republican state legislator and a regular political commentator on 12 News, says he created the video as satire for some political friends.

In the video, a raging, swearing Adolf Hitler disparages Glassman's 2010 race against Republican Sen. John McCain -- and Glassman's entire career.

"It's extremely offensive. It's in horrible taste," said Bill Straus, former director of the Arizona office of the Anti-Defamation League, whose mission is fighting bigotry.

The Hitler video, he says, "really does trivialize the Nazis, the Holocaust, what they were all about as people and what was done during those times."

The video is titled "Hitler finds out Rodney Glassman is running for the US Senate again."

Barnes wrote the subtitles on a video from a 2004 German movie that's widely used in online parodies.

"I think I've made a horse's ass out of myself," Barnes said in an interview Friday.

Barnes said he didn't know Glassman was Jewish.

"I think I'll spend a long time trying to make up to Mr. Glassman for offending him in this manner and others of Jewish heritage who do not know me, and have no way to judge my heart," Barnes said. "It's not who I am to make fun of people for their religion."

Glassman said he wants a broader apology from Barnes.

"I've asked the creator of this horrific video for a written, signed apology to be sent to all of those to whom he sent the video," Glassman said in an interview Friday. "The creator of this video should be asked the question: In the second decade of the 21st century, how a video like this would be an appropriate form of business development?"

It was a Glassman call to a major Barnes client, the University of Arizona, that apparently spawned the video.

In a statement Friday, U of A President Ann Weaver Hart said:

"I am saddened and shocked to hear that an irresponsible and reprehensible video mocking a Senate candidate is circulating in social media. This video allegedly features language and images perceived to be offensive toward a specific culture and people. I speak for the University of Arizona when I say we abhor this type of behavior and lack of judgment."

I showed the statement to Barnes, who said he hadn't seen it.

"I share the university's opinion that it was horrible judgment and I regret it deeply," he said.

The video does not make anti-Semitic statements.

"I don't think the clip is anti-Semitic in and of itself," Straus said. "But the fact is, any Jewish person is going to be more sensitive to this clip."


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