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Election 2010

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Election 2010
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Brady backs further away from stance on euthanizing animals

Blistered by scathing Quinn ad, foe says he would veto such a bill

October 19, 2010

GOP gubernatorial hopeful Bill Brady retreated further from his one-time support of controversial animal euthanasia legislation, saying Monday he would veto anything like it that reached his desk as governor.

Brady's comments came amid an unrelenting attack from his Democratic rival, Gov. Quinn, who has highlighted Brady's past sponsorship of the legislation in an Internet commercial that the British newspaper The Guardian is dubbing "America's nastiest political ad."

The bill Brady introduced shortly after his February primary victory would have allowed up to 10 stray dogs or cats at a time to be euthanized in carbon-monoxide chambers. Brady said he pushed the idea at the request of a local animal-control facility but withdrew his sponsorship after an outcry from animal rights advocates.

On Monday, Brady promised, if elected, to veto the idea "because I realize the consequences associated with the legislation." Asked what those consequences were, Brady said, "The people of Illinois don't want it."

Quinn hammered Brady on the subject at a debate between the two Sunday night and continued the bashing Monday, saying the issue "has to do with Sen. Brady's judgment."

"Anyone who learned of this was horrified, revolted by what my opponent was proposing," Quinn said. "He was acting in the face of dog and cat owners all over this state and all over this country."

Quinn's Internet commercial shows squealing dogs being stuffed into a steel container. It also quotes dog owners who identify themselves as Republicans, saying they won't vote for Brady because of his sponsorship of an idea one woman in the ad described as "sick and wrong."

In response to Quinn's continued attack Monday, the Brady camp said the governor is pushing the issue to divert attention from "his failed record" in dealing with the state's awful financial situation, tens of thousands of job losses and his botched early inmate release program.

"Anyone who is an animal lover and has beloved family pets doesn't want to dismiss the importance of the issue," Brady spokeswoman Patty Schuh said. "But when families are losing their homes, when families are worried whether they'll get a job tomorrow or if their neighbor will lose his tomorrow, it does seem to be somewhat of a distraction."

Meanwhile, both candidates faced an end-of-the-day deadline Monday to report fund-raising totals since July 1.

Brady's campaign planned to report raising $9.5 million since July 1, which included a $1 million contribution Monday from the Republican Governors Association and $250,000 from James Pritzker, one of the world's wealthiest people and an heir to the Hyatt Hotel chain.

Late Monday, Quinn reported $4.2 million in cash and services from July 1 through Oct. 3. Contributions since totaled $4.9 million, according to his campaign.