Spruill's Remarks About Muslims Make News
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.
February 5, 2009; 10:40 AM ET
Categories: Tim Craig
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