Democratic congressional hopeful Brad Schneider is taking heat from the other candidates in the suburban 10th District race for using a photograph of President Obama on a campaign flier.
The flier features a smiling Obama looking in the direction of a separate photograph of Schneider. The text "Endorsed By" appears at the top of the flier, followed by the mastheads of the Daily Herald and Chicago Tribune.
A photograph of former U.S. Rep. Melissa Bean, who is backing Schneider in the race, also is featured.
Obama has not endorsed any of the four Democratic candidates in the race, which culminates March 20.
The piece doesn't sit well with fellow Democratic candidates John Tree, Ilya Sheyman and Vivek Bavda.
Tree called Schneider's use of Obama's image on the flier "deplorable."
"This blatant attempt by Brad to inflate his own campaign with misleading and patently false associations should be called out for the shameful act that it was," Tree said in an email.
Sheyman took a shot at Schneider, too.
"It's disappointing ... Brad Schneider's campaign would resort to such desperate tactics to mislead the voters of the 10th District," Sheyman said in an email.
Bavda also questioned the flier, albeit more diplomatically.
"Given the amount of thought and care my campaign put into our direct mail and literature, I have a hard time believing that Brad, a smart man with a well-run campaign, would be this careless unintentionally," Bavda said in an email. "The people of the 10th District deserve clarity about their choices on March 20."
Schneider's campaign manager, Jarrod Backous, refused to answer specific questions from the Daily Herald about the flier. Instead, he issued a brief statement via email.
"Obviously, we are not suggesting that we received an endorsement from the president and we don't think any voters would take it that way," Backous said in the statement, which also was sent to other media outlets asking about the flier. "Brad has and will continue to support the president's agenda and has and will continue to say that proudly."
The winner of the Democratic primary will face Republican incumbent Robert Dold in the November general election. Dold is running unopposed in the GOP primary.
It's not the first time Schneider has been targeted by his rivals in the race.
Sheyman and his supporters have criticized Schneider for donations he made in the past to Republican lawmakers, including U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk of Highland Park. The topic has come up at public forums and during a discussion this week on the "Chicago Tonight" television program.
Tree used the "Chicago Tonight" gathering to poke at Schneider's past GOP donations, too.
Schneider has said the donations were made because the legislators support a strong U.S.-Israel relationship. Schneider is Jewish, as is Sheyman.
Schneider also has said he's donated much more money to Democrats through the years, a claim supported by federal campaign disclosure records.
The 10th District includes parts of Lake and Cook counties. It stretches from Lake Michigan into the North and Northwest suburbs.