The war of words between the candidates in the Second Congressional District race continues to heat up.
Congressman Ron Lewis called a press conference on Oct. 16, 2006, to discuss the dismissal of 24 National Guard soldiers in 1992. The soldiers were dismissed by the National Guard Retention Board. Lewis said his opponent Colonel Mike Weaver was a member of that board.
Lewis said the soldiers were dismissed because they had not contributed to Brereton Jones campaign for Kentucky Governor. Lewis also said he became aware of this after one of the dismissed soldiers came to his office.
"He was one of them who lost his position in the National Guard because of only one reason and that's because he contributed to the Governor Jones campaign," Lewis said.
In response, Weaver said he was a member of the retention board and this is a common practice that's required of every state by the National Guard.
Weaver also said the three-person panel simply made recommendations and the final decision was made by the adjutant general. Weaver even quoted an FBI report that he said stated there was not a connection between the dismissals and political contributions.
"It says testimony/evidence gained as a result of the FBI investigation and subsequent federal grand jury trial did not corroborate a connection between solicitations/collection of campaign contributions and the result of the selective retention board,” Weaver said.
Weaver said he wants this race to focus on the current issues and not something that happened 14 years ago.