Giffords Accuses Bee of Criticizing Rosh Hashanah Observance

Arizona Democrats criticized state Sen. Tim Bee's (R) campaign for hitting Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) after she returned home after Monday's bailout vote to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, but the Bee campaign maintains they meant no malice.

In a statement Tuesday, the Bee campaign said Giffords should return to Washington to continue work on the bailout legislation for the U.S. financial industry, expressing disapproval of what they viewed as plans to return to Arizona to campaign against Bee.

Giffords, who is Jewish, returned home not to campaign but to celebrate Rosh Hashanah with her family, her campaign said in a release condemning Bee's actions. The Arizona Democratic Party also demanded a public apology from Bee.

"The release intentionally omitted the fact that Giffords voted against congressional adjournment and that she returned home for just 36 hours to spend the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah with her family," Giffords spokesman Eric Swedlund said.

The Bee campaign based its release on an Arizona Daily Star article that said Giffords would not only be celebrating the Jewish New Year, but would be campaigning against Bee as well, Bee spokesman Tom Dunn Said.

"I think it was honest confusion," said Dunn, who pointed out that Giffords has a candidate forum with Bee--what they deemed a "campaign event"--scheduled Wednesday, and that Giffords had conducted official, congressional business in the district on Tuesday.

"If she came back to Arizona to campaign, she should have stayed [in Washington] to work this issue," Dunn said. "It