Kay Hagan, former U.S. senator from North Carolina who was falsely accused of promoting "godlessness" during her successful 2008 campaign, died on Oct. 28 at age 66. Hagan had been ill with encephalitis, which was caused by a rare tick-borne illness.
Hagan, a Democrat, ran against incumbent Republican Elizabeth Dole during the '08 race. With polls showing Dole running behind in the closing days, her campaign decided to go negative and cast aspersions on Hagan's faith.
The Dole campaign aired a commercial attacking Hagan for attending a fundraiser that was hosted by Woody Kaplan, a businessman who is active in groups promoting secular government and humanism. Kaplan held a fundraiser for Hagan at his home in Massachusetts, but the event had nothing to do with the secular groups Kaplan works with. Among the attendees was then U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry, a Roman Catholic.
Nevertheless, the Dole campaign ad accused Hagan of consorting with "godless Americans" and hinted that Hagan had cut some sort of political deal...