Today, Josh Marshall of the Talking Points Memo announced the winners of his Golden Duke Awards.  These awards, named for current convict and  bribe-taking ex-congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham, are meant to “honor”:

the great accomplishments in muckiness including acts of venal corruption, outstanding self-inflicted losses of dignity, crimes against the republic, bribery, exposed hypocrisy and generally malevolent governance.

As citizens of Missouri, you will all be glad to know that our own Sam Graves came in third in the category of the Sleaziest Campaign Ad for his San Francisco Values gay dance fest!  First and second respectively were Elizabeth Dole (Hagen the Godless Atheist) and John McCain (Obama the Pedophile) so you can see that the competition was pretty tough–in this company, a third place honorable mention is nothing to sneeze at.

In case you aren’t bursting your buttons with pride yet, you can read a sample of the judges’ comments on Mr. Graves’ fanciful ad below the fold. (The judges’ discussion of all the Golden Dukes contenders in each category can be found  here.)

Spencer Ackerman:

Would have won if it had gone all-out and showed two men dancing together — but bonus points for making the homosexual black! This man is clearly closeted.

Susie Bright:

The next time I go to San Francisco- or get an abortion- I’m going to whip out my spandex glitter pants and boogie on down to whatever disco floor Sam Graves concocted for his campaign commercial against Kay Barnes. What a laff riot!

Hendrik Hertzberg:

Graves deserves recognition for “Girls Gone Wild” VHS-porn-level production values.

Paul Keil:

I have to go with Sam Graves’ Ode to Gay Culture. It is not only sleazy, but self-consciously sleazy and more than a little afraid of its subject. … It’s obvious shorthand for the sort of thing a pious Missourian might accidentally catch on TV …

But in evoking sin, Graves’ sleaze artists couldn’t bring themselves to portray an actual pair of homosexuals. Instead, we get a man sandwiched between two tarts. Doing most of the work is the musclebound guy’s gay get-up: a sleeveless canary yellow shirt with cowboy hat — and to dispel any possible confusion that he’s just come back from wrangling cattle, he’s black. The multiracial nature of the orgy, in fact, is a key signal that something’s not right with this picture. As for his companions, I know they’re supposed to appear loose, but I can’t get over the fact that they’re decked out like 1986 club goers, as dimly imagined by a church matron.