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Democrat's ad on
Christian radio uses Foley to slam opponent

Democrat's ad on
Christian radio uses Foley to slam opponent

A Democratic candidate accuses her Republican rival of not doing enough to stop disgraced former congressman Mark Foley and his salacious messages to teenage males in an ad for Christian radio stations. Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy is challenging seven-term representative Deborah Pryce, a member of the GOP House leadership, in one of the more competitive races. Kilroy's weeklong ads began Saturday.

''What is going on in Washington?... Deborah Pryce's friend Mark Foley is caught using his position to take advantage of 16-year-old pages,'' says the ad, which will air on Christian and Clear Channel Communications Inc. stations in central Ohio. The spots cost Kilroy's campaign $5,000.

Foley, a former Florida congressman, helped Pryce get elected as Republican conference secretary, then conference chairwoman--the number 4 position in the House leadership. Pryce mentioned five friends in Congress in an article last month in Columbus Monthly magazine, and Foley was one of them.

Pryce said she was out of the loop about complaints that Foley had sent improper messages to teenage male pages until after the congressman resigned September 29. ''I was dumbfounded,'' she said.

Pryce held a news conference in Columbus to respond to the ad. She accused Kilroy of smearing her and gay-baiting, although Kilroy never mentioned homosexuality. ''She implied that since I knew him, I knew that he was a predator, and I assume there's only two conclusions you can draw from that: that I knew because I knew him that he was a predator, or that I knew that he was gay because I knew him, that he was a predator,'' Pryce said.

Kilroy spokeswoman Amanda Wurst said the campaign chose Christian and conservative radio stations because their listeners are concerned about values. The ad also blames Pryce for standing by House speaker Dennis Hastert, complaining that he looked the other way when warned of Foley's behavior. Hastert said Thursday he did not know about the sexually explicit messages sent by Foley until last week, but he also took responsibility for the matter. (AP)

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