Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Giuliani Watch - 3

It seems that Rudy doesn't just have conservative credential "issues" and problems with his family values. Word is getting out that the luster is coming off the "America's Mayor's" image.

Tula Connell at FDL writes:

It’s no secret Rudy Giuliani is basing his campaign for president on the public’s image of him as Mr. 9-11 Hero. People outside New York know little of the skeletons in his personal closet, which aren’t exactly compatible with a ticket that foghorns family values as the core of its platform.

More important, most people outside New York also don’t know about his real record after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Most people that is, except for the Fire Fighters (IAFF) union.

The union this week is holding a legislative conference here in Washington, D.C., with more than 900 members from across the country visiting Capitol Hill to talk with their lawmakers. Tomorrow, the IAFF holds a presidential debate with 10 candidates, both Republican and Democrat. But even though the Fire Fighters invited him, Rudy won’t be there.

See, Rudy did bad by the Fire Fighters. And it’s not in his interest that such information gets out.

[...]

Saying Giuliani and the fire commissioner were robbing the families of fallen fire fighters and other Sept. 11 victims of their dignity, Schaitberger, at the time, called the move:

Absolutely unacceptable.

Rudy really needs this to go away. So over the past few days, a group has emerged calling itself “Fire Fighters for Rudy.” And through the great work over at TPM Cafe, the muckrakers there found out that the executive director of the group, Tim Brown, is none other than an aide to Giuliani. Writes Greg Sargent at TPM Cafe:

…when we asked Brown if he was the executive director of Firefighters for Rudy, he said that he was. When we asked if he was an aide on the campaign, he paused for awhile before saying, "yeah." When we asked him what his title on the campaign was, he said—you guessed it—"executive director of Firefighters for Rudy.”

So we then posed the question of how many members it has. At that point, he said he was going to have "other folks" get back to us.

Aaarrrrghhhh! Frustration. If the executive director of this group doesn't know how many members it has, then who does?

If Giuliani’s attempt at deception and obfuscation weren’t so outrageous, it would be pathetic.

But the sacrifice of the fire fighters and other first-responders didn’t end Sept. 11, 2001.

Last year, a study by the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) showed firefighters suffered a significant decline in their lung capacity after working at Ground Zero. In fact, the study found more than 400 chemicals in the toxic World Trade Center air—although then-Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Christine Todd Whitman assured the public the site was safe in the weeks following 9-11. A year later, it was revealed that just days after the Sept. 11 tragedy, the Bush administration pressured the EPA to tone down reports about the potential health hazards resulting from the buildings’ collapse.

Firefighters aren’t the only workers who need to take a close look at Rudy.

In April 2001, Giuliani vetoed a strong anti-sweatshop bill guaranteeing city workers would not wear uniforms made in sweatshops. Fortunately, with the backing of the New York union movement and its community allies, the New York City Council voted April 25 to override Giuliani's veto. In his tenure as mayor, he cut programs benefiting the homeless, backed for-profit management of public schools despite the shaky record of Edison Schools Inc., which sought the deal and sat on a budget surplus while city employees went two years without a raise.

Schaitberger promises the union will delve more into the relationship between the Fire Fighters and Giuliani, both good and bad aspects.

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