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GOP clerk passes around Obama 'black Hitler' claim

Friday, October 24, 2008

FRANKLIN, Ind. —  A Republican county clerk distributed to two employees an Internet blog posting referring to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama as a "young, black Adolf Hitler."

Johnson County Clerk Jill Jackson said Friday that she had apologized to the employees. One had complained to police.

The employees, who had voted for Obama in the Democratic primary, discovered the printouts at their desks after returning from Labor Day weekend, sheriff's Deputy Doug Cox said in a police report made public this week. A surveillance video showed Jackson placing an item on one worker's desk, he said.

Jackson told The Associated Press that she was merely passing along an item that already was circulating in the office.

"There was no motive, no intent," she said. "I never intended to offend anyone."

The unsigned item does not mention Obama by name but refers to events in his life that make clear Obama is the target.

"The U.S. citizens are just not ready to give up their country to this young, black 'Adolf Hitler' with a smile, poor direction and absolutely no experience!" it said.

Doug Lechner, Republican Party county chairman, said the incident was unacceptable and taints Jackson's ability to appear unbiased in administering this year's election.

Indiana is a swing state in this presidential election, its 11 electoral votes seen as important to Obama and to his Republican rival, John McCain. Johnson County is heavily Republican.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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