Governor's Race Gets Trashy

Some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Guilt by Association?

Illinois Democratic Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias, who has fought allegations of mob connections throughout his campaign, attended a Hollywood fundraiser in which one of the hosts has been tied to organized crime.

Pamela Abdy is a Paramount Pictures executive who was identified by federal investigators back in 2007 as the girlfriend of a married New Jersey mobster nabbed for leading a multi-billion dollar gambling ring.

Giannoulias' aides defend Abdy, saying she was never investigated or arrested and is no longer romantically linked with the man.

Stink Bomb

New York's race for governor is getting trashy.

A mailer sent out last week by Republican candidate Carl Paladino actually smells like garbage. It features Democrats who have been investigated or resigned in scandal. The campaign says it went with a landfill odor, but warned that once you open the mailer it takes a long time to get the smell off your fingers.

Friday Follow-up

Updating a few stories in our Friday Follow-up segment.

The writer of an unauthorized book about French first lady Carla Bruni is standing by his account that Michelle Obama reportedly complained of life in the White House as hell. The author is quoted in various media conceding that Mrs. Obama was probably joking.

An Egyptian newspaper is defending its decision to publish a doctored photo showing Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak in front of a procession of leaders at the White House instead of behind as in the original. The paper's editor says the doctored picture was meant to show Hosni Mubarak's key role in negotiations.