The video: Illinois' Democratic governor, Pat Quinn, is playing the dreaded "puppy killer" card against his Republican opponent, Bill Brady. A new attack ad from Quinn — featuring disturbing shots of dogs being placed in what appear to be gas chambers — suggests that Brady's "first priority" as a state senator "was to sponsor a bill that would mass euthanize sheltered dogs and cats." The spot features passionate testimonials from two Republican women, both with four-legged friends in tow, saying that despite their party affiliation they can't vote for Brady because of his "sick and wrong" stance on euthanasia.
The reaction: There are some "breathtaking examples" of attack ads in American politics, from the Swift boat vets against John Kerry to Lyndon Johnson's "Daisy Girl," but this is the "nastiest... a new low," says Richard Adams in The Guardian. Sure, "there's a standing joke in politics about running an ad saying 'Vote for me or the kitten gets it,' but this is perhaps the first time anyone has actually done it." Maybe, says Politifact.com, but "our research suggests that the ad's summary of the issue is pretty accurate," though it does distort the timeline. Overall, we rate the ad "Half True." Watch the spot: