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Spruill's Remarks About Muslims Make News

Tim Craig

Could Del. Lionell Spruill (D-Chesapeake), who serves as senior advisor to former delegate Brian Moran, turn into a distraction for his boss' campaign for the Democratic nomination for governor?

During a debate on the House floor yesterday, Spruill spoke out about a proposed law that would allow state police chaplains to use Jesus' name in public prayers.

According to the Virginian Pilot, Spruill announced his opposition to the law but then said he doesn't like to hear prayers of different religions, "especially those of the Muslim faith that I don't care too much about."

When the Pilot asked him later about his remarks, Spruill said he didn't mean to offend Muslims but maintains he doesn't like how they end their prayer.

The Pilot article did not mention Spruill's connection to Moran. But the episode underscores the potential pitfalls associated with Moran's decision to put another elected official on his payroll.

A political candidate is often held responsible for the actions of their staff. In this case, Spruill is speaking as a member of the House, not as a Moran advisor.

But some Democrats are chattering about the incident. Spruill, who is also a member of the Democratic National Committee, declined to comment today.

Last year, Moran hired Spruill as an outreach coordinator to help drive up African-American turnout. Moran paid Spruill $80,000 last year, but he is not paying him his $7,500 a month salary during the legislative session.

Jon Bowerbank, a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, also plans to put Spruill on his payroll at the conclusion of the legislative session.

By Tim Craig  |  February 5, 2009; 10:40 AM ET
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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Next: Spruill Apologizes For Muslim Remark


I would normally disagree with Spruill, has anyone heard the man open his mouth before?, but this time he is right.

Posted by: steveincville | February 5, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

This guy puts his foot in his mouth almost every time he opens it. Offending other religions from a delegate seat is offensive. Isn't this the guy who gave the speech on those balls that hang from trucks?

Posted by: UVANick | February 5, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Why is everyone always so quick to insult us muslims? What is it that is so wrong with the end of our prayer that someone has to publicly say how much he doesn't like it? For the record at the end of the our prayers we say "Salam Alaikoum" which means "Peace be with your" what's so wrong with that? Shame on you Spruil!

Posted by: OneLove1 | February 5, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

OneLove1, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it....but the bigots have grasped onto Bush's Holy War and don't want anyone to forget it, hence Delegate Spruill's unfortunate ingnorant statements....I think what he was TRYING to say (not about Islam) about religion in general was good--keep it separate from government, but he sure screwed up by singling out one faith--the faith that seems to be everyone's favorite target for blatant bigotry.

Give America time, she will heal and repair the gap in educating her people on who Muslim people are, and they will come to realize that we are all God's children.

Patience is necessary even when it's difficult. I am glad to see that he's apologized. If I were Brian, I would have asked him to resign.

Posted by: DouginMountVernon | February 5, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Remember when it comes to a Moran brother, racist comments are alright because the news media won't really make much of an attempt to call them out, after all they are Democrats the party of tolerance and inclusion. LOL

Posted by: zcxnissan | February 5, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

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