Sen. Graham fundraiser to take place as scheduled Friday

Wednesday, October 24, 2007 | 8:50 p.m. CDT; updated 8:16 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — A planned fundraiser for Sen. Chuck Graham will take place as scheduled Friday evening.

Patti DeMarco, who helped plan the event, said the fundraiser for Graham, D-Columbia, had “great support” and would go on.

Jim Sterling, an MU journalism professor, was listed as a host in a Wednesday news release for the event. Sterling said he is a friend of Graham’s and that he still planned to attend and show his support despite the senator’s weekend arrest on suspicion of driving while intoxicated and careless and imprudent driving.

“Chuck has been a good friend of the university and has stood up to fight for the university,” Sterling said, noting that it was likely that Graham’s opponents would “use the arrest against him.”

On Wednesday, Paul Sloca, communications director for the Missouri Republican Party, called for Graham’s resignation.

“Throughout his career, Graham has done everything he can to allow people who drink and drive to be on the roads,” Sloca said, citing Graham’s support for cutting 85 percent from the Missouri Division of Liquor Control budget.

Neither the senator nor his spokesman returned phone calls Wednesday.

In a interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Tuesday, Graham said he was not going to resign and planned to run for re-election in 2008.

The invitation-only fundraiser on Friday is scheduled to take place at the Clinton Club at Mizzou Arena from 5 to 8 p.m. The Wednesday press release did not mention a cash bar, which had been included in previous releases about the event.

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