ST. LOUIS (KMOX)-After a fairly quiet start to the campaign, Congressman William “Lacy” Clay is dropping the gloves in his Democratic primary fight with fellow congressman Russ Carnahan in the new first congressional district.
Standing behind a sign reading “Wall Street Russ versus The Rest of Us”, Clay said that after weeks of enduring his opponents lies and deliberate misstatements about his record it was time to fire back, “Now more than ever we need a Democrat with a backbone.”
Clay accused Carnahan of siding with Wall Street, in voting for TARP twice in 2008, “While I was fighting to save jobs and prevent home foreclosures in St. Louis, Russ Carnahan voted twice to give Wall Street speculators a $700 billion bail out.
“Those who failed us and caused this recession should have been allowed to fail.”
One of the salvos concerned Carnahan’s accusation that Clay misses a lot of key votes in Congress, “My daughter graduated from high school in May and I missed some votes that day to attend my daughter’s graduation, and he thought it was the perfect opportunity to slam me on my attendance record.” Clay argued that he was on hand for key votes, including the stimulus, when he said he represented the region, getting funds for key projects including the expansion of Highway 141.
Carnahan responded, while shaking hands with potential voters on Washington Avenue.
Carnahan says his TARP votes came during an economic emergency, and were the right thing the do, “I still stand by that. It was largely responsible for the country not going over the economic cliff into a full-scale depression.”
Carnahan also stood by his criticism of Clay’s missing key votes, “He’s missed close to ten percent of the votes. Has one of the worst attendance records of any member in our delegation.”