Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Elizabeth Crowley Behaving Badly

In another surprising twist, opposing political ideologues, Tom Ognibene and Charles Ober are creating a one-time unholy union to denounce the despicable letter that is being circulated around the 30th district bashing Mr. Ober because he is gay. The two are speculating that it was Elizabeth Crowley and the Queens Democratic Machine that authored the anti-gay manifesto in attempt to undermine Mr. Ober's candidacy.

April 29, 2008
The Daily Politics
Elizabeth Benjamin
Ober, Ognibene Decry Anti-Gay 'Hate Mail' In The 30th (Updated)

Two anti-establishment 30th CD candidates - Democrat Charles Ober and Republican Tom Ognibene - will team up tomorrow to denounce an anonymous letter recently received by residents throughout the Queens district that attacks Ober because he is gay.

Ober's campaign alleges that the letter, which employs the word "faggot" multiple times, is part of a "dirty tricks" effort to undermine his candidacy.

In a brief phone interview, Ober, who says he is the first openly-gay candidate for office in the 30th CD, declined to say who he thought was behind the letter, but did note that he is not being supported by the Queens Democratic Party, which is backing Elizabeth Crowley, cousin of Rep. Joe Crowley, the party chair.

"I can only suspect," Ober said when asked who might have sent the letter. "But it is part of a pattern of intimidation."

Ober said his supporters have received calls pressuring them to drop their backing of him (from whom he wouldn't say), and that people carrying his petitions were followed, harassed and had doors slammed in their faces.

Ober, who has been endorsed by the Stonewall Democratic Club, insisted he will not be frightened out of running. He intends to file petitions tomorrow at the Board of Elections.

Ober said he learned of the letter when people who had received it began calling his campaign HQ and faxing over copies. He professed not to have read the whole thing.

According to Ober, Ognibene, who did not receive the backing of the Queens County GOP, (the party endorsed Anthony Como, an aide to Sen. Serf Maltese, although the Conservatives are supporting Ognibene) called out of the blue to offer to join him in denouncing the letter.

The two candidates are holding a press conference at 11:30 a.m. tomorrow at the war memorial at Myrtle and Cooper avenues in Glendale.

UPDATE: Crowley's campaign manager Alyson Grant e-mailed over the following statement:
"These flyers should be investigated and the perpetrators should be prosecuted. However, the cheap political theatrics of Charles Ober and Tom Ognibene do a disservice to the people of Queens.

It's outrageous that Charles Ober is allowing himself to be used by Tom Ognibene and the Republicans, since Ognibene's entire career has been an affront to everything Ober claims to stand for.
Rather than standing with Republican Tom Ognibene, Charles Ober should work with other Democrats to take back this seat for the party."

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