(2010) Ohio Republican Paul Schiffer gets an endorsement from former Romanian spy

The following article was originally written by the Associated Press for Cleveland.com

Ohio Republican Paul Schiffer gets an endorsement from former Romanian spy

Updated: Jan. 06, 2010, 5:30 p.m.|Published: Jan. 06, 2010, 4:30 p.m.

By Julie Carr Smyth

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A former top Romanian spy who defected to the United States in the 1970s has endorsed a U.S. House hopeful in the closely watched race for Ohio’s 16th congressional district.

Ion Mihai “Mike” Pacepa, now an American citizen, is backing conservative Republican Paul Schiffer in the 2010 election because he believes Democrats are turning America into a socialist dictatorship like the one he escaped. Pacepa’s long-time translator, Wayne Barnes, confirmed the endorsement’s veracity after it was released by the campaign.

Pacepa, who is in hiding, said Marx’s socialism “transformed a third of the world into an abysmal 20th century feudalism” and now threatens the contemporary United States through the Obama administration.

“If the Democratic Party has its way, it will transform the United States into a socialist country in all but name. The 2010 elections could prevent that catastrophe from happening,” his statement said.

Schiffer could be one of four challengers to incumbent U.S. Rep. John Boccieri, a Democrat from the Youngstown area. Former U.S. Rep. Jim Traficant, recently freed from prison, is also considering a run.

Schiffer, a radio talk show host and literary agent from Canton, is a former Marine who also ran in 2008. Boccieri is an Air Force pilot and repeat Iraqi war veteran. Boccieri was first elected to the Northeast Ohio district, among Ohio’s most vulnerable, in 2008.

Schiffer, 51, said Monday he is not calling Boccieri a socialist, but he does believe Obama is one.

Pacepa was deputy head of foreign intelligence under dictator Nicolae Ceausescu when he defected in 1978. The move delivered a blow to the communist regime’s Securitate secret police. Pacepa’s book, “Red Horizons,” was liberally cited during the 1989 trial of Ceausescu and his wife, Elena, that resulted in their death sentences. Schiffer said he became acquainted with Pacepa through his radio show.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee declined to comment on the endorsement.

Press, Associated. “Ohio Republican Paul Schiffer Gets an Endorsement from Former Romanian Spy.” Cleveland, 6 Jan. 2010, https://www.cleveland.com/open/2010/01/ohio_republican_paul_schiffer.html.

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