A spokesman for New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson sharply questioned Rob Astorino for promoting a “major” public safety endorsement that actually came from a group masquerading as a better known statewide organization, and is run by two failed Tea Party candidates.

“This endorsement is a joke,” said Barry Caro, Bramson campaign spokesman. “It appears to be from just two men, both of whom are failed Republican candidates with extreme views on guns, representing an organization listed on a fraud watchlist.”

“It’s clear that this group has nothing to do with public safety,” Caro added. “Bruce Blakeman and Eugene Tumolo’s hardline views on gun safety are badly out of step with Westchester County voters, but they’re perfectly in step with Rob Astorino’s extreme actions in office.”

Despite a misleadingly similar name, the organization which endorsed Rob Astorino yesterday is not the well-known, century-old New York State Association of Chiefs of Police. In fact, the group that endorsed Rob is listed in a watchlist put out by the NY State Troopers PBA of potential “scams and crooks” attempting to defraud supporters of law enforcement.

“Let’s get beyond the phony endorsements. The day after another mass shooting, let’s talk about how Rob’s decision to bring gun shows back to the County Center made all of us less safe. Let’s talk about how he opposes a state ban on assault weapons, opposes a ban on high-capacity ammunition clips, and opposed a bill to expand background checks. And let’s talk about Noam Bramson’s record in New Rochelle, where crime is down 45% since he entered public office and down 21% since he became Mayor,” Caro concluded.

BACKGROUND

In his 2010 campaign against Kirsten Gillibrand, Bruce Blakeman — Executive Director of the group which endorsed Astorino — highlighted his staunch opposition to gun safety legislation. According to coverage of the debate from WNYC, “Blakeman’s most pointed criticism of Gillibrand came when discussing gun control…Blakeman said Gillibrand’s gun control focus is misplaced.” [WNYC, “Gillibrand Rivals Spar in Televised Debate, 8/25/2010, LINK]

Eugene Tumolo was Christopher York’s running mate in the Republican primary for Putnam County Sheriff earlier this month, before York dropped out to endorse Kevin McConville. Tumolo is also the defendant in a multi-million dollar suit by a man who was wrongfully convicted and falsely imprisoned for 16 years after an investigation led by Tumolo. [The Examiner News, “York’s Choice for Undersheriff Attached to Deskovic Case,” 5/2/2013, LINK]

McConville’s only policy position listed on his website is opposition to the New York Safe Act. [Kevin McConville campaign website, accessed 9/17/2013, LINK]

The New York State Police Chiefs Benevolent Association is listed by the New York State Troopers PBA Benefit Fund on a watchlist of potential scam groups attempting to defraud supporters of law enforcement. [New York State Troopers PBA Benefit Fund, “Fraud Alert Sheet,” accessed 9/17/2013, LINK]

The FBI’s crime statistics for New Rochelle can be found in their annual database of crime in the United States. From 1995, when Noam Bramson joined the City Council, until 2011, the last complete year on record, the crime rate in New Rochelle declined by 45%. From 2006, when Noam Bramson took office as Mayor, until 2011 the crime rate declined by 21%. [FBI, “Crime in the United States,” accessed 9/17/2013, LINK]

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