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Father of Candidate Denies Child Abuse

By BETH FOUHY
The Associated Press
Friday, June 30, 2006; 2:56 PM

NEW YORK -- The father of Republican Senate hopeful Kathleen Troia "KT" McFarland publicly denied allegations that he beat her during her childhood _ the latest twist in a series of dramatic disclosures about that have rocked the campaign of the woman hoping to unseat Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

"You know darn well I never did any of that," Augie Troia, 80, said in Friday's New York Post. "I'll get on the lie detector test. Anytime you want, make a lie detector test."

The Post said Troia threatened the reporter who came to his home in Madison, Wis., saying "you'd better get out of here or they're going to carry you out of here."

Telephone calls to Troia seeking further comment Friday were not returned.

In an interview with The Associated Press earlier this week, McFarland said her father had beaten her at least twice a month from the time she was 2 years old until she was about 12.

"I had one of the most difficult childhoods imaginable," McFarland said. "I was beaten up, I was whipped with a belt, I was kicked, I was shoved, and my father took a gun to us on a couple of occasions at a very young age."

Her father told the New York Post he never owned a gun.

McFarland blamed violence at home for driving her younger brother Michael, who was gay, into a sexually reckless lifestyle that led to his death from AIDS in 1995. She acknowledged this week that she became estranged from her brother in the last few years of his life and would not permit her children to visit him.

The series of allegations and denials began Monday, when New York Magazine published excerpts of a letter McFarland sent to her parents in 1992, blaming them in part for her brother's troubles.

McFarland was campaigning in Syracuse on Friday and turned down an interview request. But her campaign released a statement in which she said it was "time to move on."

"I will not engage in a he-said-she-said discussion with my father. I stand by what I have said, but I respectfully request privacy for a family that I love and forgave many years ago," McFarland's statement said.

McFarland is locked in a bitter primary race with John Spencer, the former mayor of Yonkers. Her advisers disclosed this week that her campaign is nearly broke and that McFarland was lending the campaign $100,000 to keep it afloat.

The winner of the Sept. 12 Republican primary will face Clinton, who is heavily favored to win re-election.

© 2006 The Associated Press