Name-Calling in Illinois Governor's Race

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Stage Fright

Illinois Democratic Governor Pat Quinn was forced to distance himself from his own introduction, made by State Senator Rickey Hendon at a Chicago rally over the weekend. Hendon criticized Quinn's Republican opponent, Bill Brady, saying -- quote: "I've never served with such an idiotic, racist, sexist, homophobic person in all my life.... If you think gay and lesbian people need to be locked up and shot in the head, vote for Bill Brady."

Quinn later told the Chicago Tribune he did not associate himself with the comments and believes in civility.

Service Call

Virginia Democratic Congressman Jim Moran is trying to clarify remarks he made about his opponent's service record.

Moran had said Republican Patrick Murray has not performed any public service. Moran told a Democratic gathering earlier this month -- quote: "What [Republicans] do is find candidates, usually stealth candidates, that haven't been in office, haven't served or performed in any kind of public service. My opponent is typical, frankly."

The problem for Moran, Patrick Murray spent 24 years in the Army and was deployed to four different combat zones serving the country.

A local radio station reports Moran now says he was specifically citing local service, like a civic association or a non-profit group. But, at that Democratic event, Moran referenced Murray's military service as he criticized Murray's call for smaller government saying -- quote: "Of course, for 24 years he's taken a government check, because, frankly, the military is still part of the federal government and yet his principle platform is to cut government spending."

Iota of Truth?

Ohio Republican congressional candidate Rich Iott, who was recently criticized for dressing in a Nazi uniform during a World War II reenactment, is now being accused of exaggerating his military record.

An Iott campaign mailer said his experience helps him understand "the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform have made because he served himself." Democratic incumbent Marcy Kaptur says the mailer is misleading, because Iott only served in a volunteer state militia.

Iott says he's proud of his volunteer service and never claimed to be a veteran.

War Stories

And finally New York Republican gubernatorial hopeful Carl Paladino is also accused of fudging his past service.

The New York Post reports as false claims by Paladino's campaign that he commanded 250 men at Ft. Bliss, Texas during six months of active Army service back in 1971. The Post says Paladino served only three months on active duty and was at Ft. Bliss for an academic training program.

Paladino's campaign called the piece an amateur hit job.