U.S. Senate candidate Roy Blunt and Missouri Democrats fought angrily Tuesday over help the Republican provided a Nicaraguan immigrant 20 years ago — actions the Democrats said proved Blunt’s hypocrisy on immigration.
A woman who identified herself as Dora Narvaez told The Kansas City Star she worked as a housekeeper for the Blunts for six months around 1990, roughly the same time she sought political asylum in the United States.
But the congressman’s campaign said Narvaez “never worked for the Blunts” and that any official aid he may have provided as Missouri’s secretary of state was routine constituent service for a person “who helped out at a couple of church events.”
And the campaign sharply rejected any claim of improper influence, labeling the charges “desperate, dirty politics.”
Democrats released an exchange of letters between Blunt and the head of the Immigration and Naturalization Service at the time — a well-known Missouri Republican — and said the Senate candidate was clearly working to provide special treatment for an “illegal worker.”
“Roy Blunt is playing loose and fast with the facts in this case,” said Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokeswoman Deirdre Murphy. “Now that Blunt is in hot water for potentially using his official position to do favors for an illegal worker, Roy Blunt is trying to hide the truth.”
In news conferences in Kansas City and St. Louis, Democrats accused Blunt of using his “official office and Washington connections to try and expedite that worker’s case” — in contrast with a new Blunt TV commercial urging a crackdown on illegal immigration.
In a statement, Blunt spokesman Rich Chrismer called the charge “just plain crazy.” He accused Democrats of shopping the “false” story to reporters in Missouri and Washington for months.
But Chrismer declined to go beyond his statement when asked to explain Narvaez’s work relationship with the Blunt family.
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