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West Virginia Senate Battle Turns Ugly as Byrd Uses Raese's Father

Sep 30, 2006

West Virginia GOP senatorial candidate John Raese slapped back at Senator Robert Byrd’s reference to Raese’s deceased father in a West Virginia public television profile which aired Thursday night.

In a transcript of the program obtained by the Raese campaign Thursday afternoon, Byrd says, “(Raese’s) father was my friend. I think his father would have been … somewhat ashamed. His father would be supporting me today I feel if he were alive.”

Raese fired back, saying, “It is Senator Byrd who should be ashamed for smearing my father – and my family by extension – when he knows my father is deceased and cannot speak for himself. I am astounded at the disgusting arrogance of Senator Byrd in suggesting that my father would support ever him over his own son. Senator Byrd has a nasty habit of saying outrageous things and this is just another example of that arrogance,” Raese said.

Raese said the contrast between his father and Senator Byrd’s father is a lesson to remember.

“When I was a boy, my father was taking me to basketball and baseball games, and to Dairy Queen after the game,” said Raese.

"By contrast, according to Senator Byrd’s autobiography, his father was taking him to“ Ku Klux Klan meetings. Years later, when I was 34, I was running for the United States Senate. Senator Byrd was, at that same age, by his own account, recruiting members to the KKK,” he said.

Added Raese, “I know who my father would be ashamed of, and it wouldn’t be me.”

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he's a staff writer for the New Media Alliance

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