Republican congressional hopeful Manju Goel called on an Indian-American SuperPAC Monday to tweak a misleading website critical of fellow Republican candidate Larry Kaifesh, but she added she believes the site contains "factual information" that people need to know about her opponent.
The website larrykaifesh4congress.com, appears to be Kaifesh's campaign site, but in reality it contains numerous attacks upon him. It has sparked controversy in the Republican primary in the N8th Congressional District. The leaders of the Cook, Kane and DuPage County Republican party organizations have called for Goel to withdraw from the race over her refusal to repudiate the site and its creators, the Indian Americans For Freedom SuperPAC.
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The IAAF was created by one of Goel's biggest supporters, Carol Stream businessman Shalli Kumar, but both he and Goel have denied any current connection to the SuperPAC or the website.
Most of Goel's Monday news conference at the Rolling Meadows Holiday Inn consisted of a renewed attack on Kaifesh -- particularly for his living in Virginia while serving in the Pentagon, as well as Hollywood, Calif., at various times.
Goel also said she'd heard Kaifesh state he would get funding for a general election campaign against Democratic incumbent Tammy Duckworth "from the Hollywood mafia," and that she had a recording to prove it. Despite a Daily Herald request for it, Goel did not produce such a recording by press time.
Kaifesh -- a colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve -- responded that he has never said "Hollywood mafia," but that "Marine Corps mafia" is a joking term referring to members of the corps supporting each other in civilian society.
"I lived in Hollywood for a few years, but they're all liberals and don't give to conservatives," Kaifesh joked.
Goel also mentioned Kaifesh's two divorces within the past four years. Kaifesh said his two ended marriages were "casualties" of his regular overseas deployments -- every other year since 9/11 -- but that there's not one ex-girlfriend or ex-wife he doesn't have a good relationship with.
"My life is very open," Kaifesh said. "If you go to Google, you will see what I've been doing since high school."
A second controversy brewed this week over claims on Goel's website, manjuforcongress.com, that she'd received the endorsement of former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, based on a robocall he recorded that is complimentary of her position on economic issues.
Goel insisted Monday that she had the endorsement, but Cain told the Daily Herald earlier in the day that he wants the claim be removed.
"I have not endorsed her and will not be endorsing her," Cain said. "They took the liberty of claiming I endorsed her."
Cain acknowledges recording the robocall but said he endorses only candidates he meets in person.
"I have gone from an open attitude to a negative attitude," Cain said of Goel. "I do not even know the other candidate, and I don't know her."
The 8th District is roughly centered in Schaumburg and includes parts of Northwest Cook, central DuPage and eastern Kane counties.