U.S. counterterrierism officials said early Tuesday that they are investigating a possible link between enigmatic canine cleric Ayatollah Mugsy and the radical Garden Gnome Liberation Front. The organization, based in France, claims members in numerous countries and advocates an end to "oppressive gardening practices." Rumors of a link between the gnome group and Ayatollah Mugsy gained momentum after the spiritual guide for Pug Life Ministries was spotted wearing a gnome costume to a Pug-O-Ween celebration in Arlington, Texas, possibly in a show of solidarity with his fellow radicals.
"This revelation could have a significant impact on the presidential race," said John Fellows, a professor of political science at Georgetown University. "But it is not clear which of the two major campaigns would be most affected. Ayatollah Mugsy was once a guest speaker at Democratic hopeful Barack Obama's church, along with pastor and amateur comedian Michael Pfleger. But Mugsy also reportedly took part in a casting-out-of-witches ceremony at [GOP vice presidential candidate] Sarah Palin's church in Wasilla, Alaska."
Fellows said that voters' decisions may come down to where they stand on the issue of gnomes' rights, always a touchy subject.
"It is really the third rail of American politics," Fellows said.