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Moseley-Braun Lashes Out At Columnist, Apologizes

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.

(08 Sep 1998 01:29 EDT)

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Tuesday September 8, 1998

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