Sen. John McCain Cancels Bilbray Event

The Associated Press
Wednesday, May 31, 2006; 1:44 AM

SAN DIEGO -- U.S. Sen. John McCain on Tuesday canceled an appearance for a Republican congressional candidate who has attacked his opponent for supporting McCain's immigration bill.

McCain, R-Ariz., was scheduled to speak Wednesday at a breakfast fundraiser for Brian Bilbray, who is in a close runoff race with Democrat Francine Busby to fill the seat left vacant by disgraced former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham.

Cunningham was sentenced in March to more than eight years in prison for accepting bribes. The winner of the June 6 special election will fill the remaining seven months left in Cunningham's term.

Bilbray, a former congressman who worked as a lobbyist for an anti-immigration group, has repeatedly attacked Busby for supporting the immigration bill passed last week in the Senate. McCain was a principal architect of the bill.

In an e-mail sent to the Bilbray campaign, McCain spokesman Craig Goldman acknowledged that McCain and Bilbray "disagree on some of the issues related to immigration reform."

The e-mail reiterated McCain's endorsement of Bilbray, and said McCain's Straight Talk America political action committee would make the maximum allowable contribution of $5,000 to Bilbray's campaign. Goldman did not return phone and e-mail messages left seeking comment.

© 2006 The Associated Press