Friday, July 14, 2006

Brother of GOP candidate calls her 'evil'

Yahoo! News
Brother of GOP candidate calls her 'evil'
By BETH FOUHY, Associated Press Writer

A Reagan-era Pentagon official hoping to unseat U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton faced yet another problem with her campaign Thursday when a brother called her "evil" for accusing their father of child abuse.

The brother of Kathleen Troia "KT" McFarland said in an interview published Thursday that McFarland's allegations were a complete fabrication.

"If I had one word to describe my sister, it would be 'evil,'" Tom Troia told The New York Post.

The story came the same day McFarland hosted the first major fundraiser of her campaign, a $1,000-per-ticket reception featuring several high-profile members of the Reagan-era national security and defense establishment, including former National Security Adviser Bud McFarlane.

Asked about Troia's allegations at a campaign event in Brooklyn, McFarland refused to comment.

"I don't have anything to say about that. ... I didn't choose to have this issue come up, but when it did, I addressed it. I don't have anything to add," she said.

McFarland is competing with former Yonkers Mayor John Spencer for the GOP nomination to challenge Clinton. Clinton is widely favored to win re-election.

Stories of McFarland's allegedly messy family history have dominated her campaign since June, when she went public with allegations that she had endured years of physical abuse at the hands of her father. The announcement came after New York Magazine published excerpts from letters McFarland wrote to her parents 14 years ago, blaming them for pushing a gay brother, Michael, into a reckless sexual lifestyle that led to his death from AIDS in 1995.

"I was beaten up, I was whipped with a belt, I was kicked, I was shoved, and my father took a gun to us on a couple of occasions at a very young age," McFarland told The Associated Press in June.

Her father, Augie Troia, angrily denied the allegations in a New York Post interview late last month. In Thursday's interview, Tom Troia acknowledged that his father was prone to flashes of anger and would sometimes discipline his children by spanking them with a belt. But, he said, the standards of that era were different from today.

"It was a different attitude in the early 1960s," he said. "The punishment was on an acceptable level of the time." Troia added that his father never kicked him or his sister, and that "there was never, ever a gun in the house."

McFarland's campaign has been beset with problems since she announced her candidacy in March. She's been accused of embellishing her resume, and was forced to acknowledge that she hasn't voted in several elections in recent years.