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Moseley-Braun Sorry for Comments

September 8, 1998

CHICAGO (AP) _ U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun lashed out at conservative columnist George Will and accused him of racism but later apologized.

A syndicated column by Will that appeared in newspapers Monday detailed allegations of corruption in Moseley-Braun’s 1992 campaign.

``I think because he couldn’t say nigger, he said corrupt,″ Moseley-Braun, who is black, said Monday following a Labor Day rally with fellow Democrats at Chicago’s Navy Pier.

The Democratic senator also made a reference to the Ku Klux Klan by calling criticism by Will and other conservatives ``a substitute for their hood.″

Moseley-Braun apologized later that afternoon, saying she lost her temper and used language that was inappropriate.

``I was very upset that columnist George Will regurgitated wild charges without telling the truth,″ she said.

Will’s column rehashed many of the problems that have dogged Moseley-Braun since she first ran for office in 1992, including allegations that she and her former campaign manager and ex-fiance, Kgosie Matthews, spent $281,000 in campaign funds on trips, clothing, jewelry and other personal items.

The Department of Justice has declined to pursue the allegations against Moseley-Braun, citing a lack of evidence.

In a statement, Will dismissed the senator’s comments as ``cynical name calling.″

``Calling her many critics names and smearing them as racist is the senator’s way of trying to change the subject,″ Will said.

Moseley-Braun is running for re-election against conservative state Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, an investment banker.

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