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updated: 3/12/2014 5:11 AM

Take website down, Goel tells SuperPAC

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  • Manju Goel

      Manju Goel

  • Larry Kaifesh

      Larry Kaifesh

 
 

Republican congressional hopeful Manju Goel released a statement Tuesday evening asking an Indian-American SuperPAC to take down a misleading website critical of her Republican opponent Larry Kaifesh, as it "too closely resembles Larry Kaifesh's official campaign."

As of 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, the site was removed.

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Goel has also asked Indian Americans For Freedom to take down its related Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Goel and Kaifesh are running for the 8th Congressional District Republican nomination, in Tuesday's primary. The winner will face congresswoman Tammy Duckworth in the November general election.

The website in question, larrykaifesh4congrees.com, at first glance looked to be Kaifesh's campaign site, but in reality contained numerous attacks on him, and it sparked controversy in the Republican primary.

On Monday, Goel held a news conference in which is asked the IAFF to "tweak" the site, but added she believed the site contained "factual information" that people need to know about her opponent.

On Tuesday, however, Goel released a letter she sent to IAFF. It reads, in part:

"I'm writing to you today to request that you pull down the website, LarryKaifesh4Congress.com and the Facebook and Twitter accounts that you manage and are associated with this election. While I do very much appreciate your support of my campaign and understand the concerns you have regarding Mr. Kaifesh I believe the website in question has done more harm than good."

Goel's letter went on to say that voters deserve to know truth about candidates.

"Unfortunately, good intentions sometimes miss their mark and Mr. Kaifesh's campaign has used the website in question to distract from the issues of this campaign," Goel wrote.

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.

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 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 has not produced such a recording.

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.

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