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Thursday, July 06, 2006

The freakshow

Kathleen McFarland

The GOP Senatorial primary has gone batshit crazy.

KT hurting herself, not Senate foe


When Kathleen (KT) McFarland jumped out of nowhere into the Republican Senate race in March, she presented herself as a genteel alternative candidate who wanted to discuss weighty issues over a nice cup of tea.

It hasn't gone that way.

If the race to oust Sen. Hillary Clinton seemed to be an uphill but honorable battle a few months ago, the last weeks of shenanigans and bizarre revelations have sent it careening closer to farce.

No issues have been discussed. Instead, the campaign has caromed among a series of wacky issues ranging from accusations that her GOP opponent was a bigamist to whether she shunned her gay brother as he was dying.

"I think we should get away from talking about people's childhoods and people's private lives," she complained Friday on New York 1.

It was a bit late.

Many of the recent fireworks have been set off by McFarland's strategist Ed Rollins, who was political guru to President Ronald Reagan, Ross Perot and former New Jersey Gov. Christie Whitman.

Rollins called former Yonkers Mayor John Spencer a "bigamist" whose kids are "illegitimate" because they were fathered with his chief of staff while Spencer was still married to his first wife. He has suggested that Spencer, who has been on the wagon for 30 years, would be driven "back on the bottle under the bed" by Clinton. When questions arose about McFarland claiming to hold a doctorate from MIT when she didn't finish her dissertation, Rollins scoffed that "we're running against a guy who had about six weeks of junior college." He denigrated Spencer's medals in Vietnam, saying so many people were getting killed in Vietnam that "it wasn't so difficult to get a Bronze Star."

But McFarland hasn't helped herself. Her public statements have been so inept that Spencer's aides alert reporters to her upcoming TV appearances, while her own staff does not.

She told columnist Cindy Adams that when she was ridiculed for saying Clinton was using helicopters to spy on her, "I sat in a ratty old robe, tears spilling down my face. To ease my anguish, I killed off half a pint of ice cream. Next morning I was in a fetal position. Still crying."
Oh, but it's crazier than that:

I was now sitting in KT McFarland’s kitchen, where her campaign has decided that she likes being photographed, at her Park Avenue duplex in what is known as the Agnelli Building to the town’s real-estate brokers. Judging from its chintz curtains and sack-back Windsor chairs, a decorator hadn’t so much as sneezed in there in several years (or in the cozy den off the hall, every painting a clipper at sea). McFarland, 54, has been accused in the newspapers of spotty voting (“The realities of family life took precedence,” she’d said) and cooking her résumé. Some of her first-female, highest-ranking claims were borderline, and adjustments had been made. The New York Times had revealed that she hadn’t actually written the critical anti-ballistic-missile insert that gave Ronald Reagan’s “Star Wars” speech its name. Still, any physical contact with the document seemed compelling. A conscientious job applicant, KT gave me William Howard Taft IV and Bud McFarlane as references.

There’s still some careful gardening going on. Her father’s people came from outside Palermo, and of those grandparents, KT remarked a bit fliply, “I don’t even think they could read.” Her mother’s maiden name was Fuller, “from an old New England family,” she said.

KT’s father worked the night shift as a train dispatcher in Madison, Wisconsin. The eldest of four, KT had a brother here in New York City who had followed her to George Washington University and then worked as an analyst. “Ummmm. He was sick and then he died,” is all she would say when pressed. Michael Troia had aids; his obituary listed three “companions.”

KT, the moderate in this race, couldn’t abide his sexual orientation. Shortly after she discovered Mike had aids, she wrote her parents lengthy, angry, almost Gothic letters in which she outed her brother, blamed her father for his troubles as well as those of her and her other siblings, and cut off contact with her parents. “Have you ever wondered why I have never had anything to do with Mike and have never let my daughters see him although we live only fifteen minutes away from each other?” she wrote. “He has been a lifelong homosexual, most of his relationships brief, fleeting one-night stands.” The father’s behavior had surfaced for McFarland as recovered memory. She said a shrink put her up to writing the letter; reached for comment, her mother, Edith Troia—KT has since made up with her parents—denied the account. “Wouldn’t that make a great book?” she said. “Please be kind. You could be casting dark shadows on this whole race.”

So she's ashamed of being half-Sicilian, always a winner in New York, turned on her gay brother in a viciously cruel way, and accused her father of abuse because of a recovered memory. Wonderful.

I mean, she's a fucking nutjob, why is she running?

Pro-life adulterer Spencer would lose badly, but a race between these two is fucking nuts. Hillary Clinton couldn't pay for this to happen. This race is going ballistic and it's just insane to watch.

posted by Steve @ 1:18:00 AM

1:18:00 AM

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