Democrat Senator Tom Harkin says he’s been “hurt personally” and “scarred” by the tape scandal that has rocked his re-election campaign against Republican rival Greg Ganske. Harkin admitted last Friday that a former employee in his Congressional office had secretly taped a Ganske fundraising meeting. Harkin laid the blame on a “overzealous young staffer” who has resigned, and Harkin fired his campaign manager. Harkin says he’s been in public office for 28 years, and he says there’s never been a “hint” of anything unethical, professionally or personally. Harkin says after he learned of the taping episode, he took action, put a new team on board, and he says he can assure Iowans it’ll never happen again. Harkin says the unfolding scandal has affected him “very deeply,” and the episode has left some deep scars in his own personal life. Ganske campaign officials scoff at Harkin’s statements, saying Harkin has a reputation of pushing and exceeding the ethical limit in all his campaigns. Ganske campaign manager Bill Armistead says Harkin can deal with his personal demons by “coming clean” on what really happened within the campaign.
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