Memo to would-be candidates for public office: beware of costume parties, especially when cameras are snapping away. Krystal Ball (yes, her real name), a Democratic candidate for Congress in Virginia, is dealing with some unwanted publicity this week -- Internet postings
of her in a Santa hat and leotard that she says were taken six years ago, just after she graduated from college.
Ball, 29, is blaming her opponent, Republican Rep. Rob Wittman, saying it is all part of a smear campaign against her. But Wittman says he's opposed to the release of the photos and wants the bloggers who put them up to take them down, The Hill
newspaper said Thursday.
In the pictures, Ball appears to be holding a leash attached to the neck of a guy that she says is her ex-husband. Ball says she is more angry than embarrassed. The release of the pictures is "sexist and it's wrong," The Hill quotes her as saying.
And she has advice for any other "young woman who is thinking about running for office and has ever attended a costume party with her husband or done anything stupid on camera": Don't be deterred -- "run for office."
"I'm a wife, mother, a CPA and a small-business owner. When I stepped up to run for this seat, I knew that our politics had deteriorated to viciousness," she added.