Nick Casey, chairman of the West Virginia State Democratic Executive Committee, is calling for Chris Wakim to return $15,000 in campaign donations he received from House Speaker Dennis Hastert and House Majority Leader John Boehner.
Both Hastert and Boehner have come to West Virginia in recent months to stump for Wakim.
"For weeks, West Virginians have been subjected to hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of smears distorting Alan Mollohan's record funded by Chris Wakim's friends in Texas and California," says Casey. "Now we learn that it is the Republican Party that chose to look the other way when one of its own congressmen was sending inappropriate E-mails to a 16-year-old congressional page."
Gerry Griffith, campaign manager for Mollohan, adds: "The irony is that Boehner and Hastert give big donations to finance that kind of nasty effort [against Mollohan] at the same time they remain silent over Mr. Foley's problems." When asked to comment on this, the campaign to elect Wakim said: "The attorney general has opened an investigation into what Mark Foley did and anyone involved should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
The Wakim campaign also argues that Mollohan voted against authorizing $2 million for task forces to investigate Internet crimes against children as well as other measures to protect children from sexual predators.
"Alan Mollohan needs to take a long, hard look in the mirror before he starts throwing stones on this matter," says Will Holley, spokesman for the Wakim campaign. The Mollohan campaign says this is again just smear tactics. Griffith didn't know the details of Mollohan's vote against the legislation. But he said Mollohan has a long history of supporting measures to protect children, including his securing a federal grant for the Justice Department to create the Amber View program, a database used to identify people who have been kidnapped.