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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Political Debate Gets Genealogical

A Genealogue Exclusive [What's That?]
A heated debate was held Friday evening in Ypsilanti, Michigan, between incumbent Republican Congressman Paul Engstrom and Democratic challenger Harold Kimball. Tempers flared when Kimball accused Engstrom of failing to disclose his great-grandfather's ties to the Warren G. Harding and Herbert Hoover administrations.

"I have in my pocket the obituary of the man, which states that he was a lifelong Republican," said Kimball. "Is my opponent prepared to denounce his great-grandfather for voting in favor of corruption and economic depression?"

Engstrom refused to respond, but countered that Kimball had "a long family history of failing to support our troops."

"It's a matter of public record," the six-term congressman said, "that Harold Kimball's ancestors opposed the Civil War. They opposed the Spanish-American War. They even opposed World War II, and that was the best one we ever had. Being Quakers is no excuse for that kind of un-American behavior."

Accusations of infidelity and illegitimacy in the candidates' respective families followed. In response to a question from the audience, Engstrom produced two sets of DNA test results to demonstrate how little he has in common with President Bush.

The debate reached a head when Kimball accused the congressman of damaging books at the local Family History Center by folding over the corners of pages. Engstrom answered that he had never bent over pages and that, if he had, it was only because of his drinking problem.

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