shameless campaign ever for New York governor. His main issues? Jobs, schools, taxes, infrastructure? Fuhgettaboutit, as we New Yorkers say. He's running against the proposed Islamic center at ground zero:
As the Republican primary for the governor’s race approaches, Mr. Lazio is making his vigorous opposition to the project a centerpiece of his candidacy, assailing it on the campaign trail, testifying against it at public hearings, denouncing it in television commercials and even creating an online petition demanding an investigation into the center and its organizers. “Defend New York,” says the giant headline above the petition on his Web site.
Lazio has sunk so low as to use the September 11 crimes against humanity for campaign commercials:
Mr. Lazio is...even breaking what has been, until now, something of an unwritten rule of politics in New York: never to use images of Sept. 11 in campaign advertisements.
Last week, Mr. Lazio released a Web advertisement critical of the mosque featuring rescue workers on Sept. 11 and a television commercial in which he appears before photos of a still-smoldering World Trade Center...
While Lazio's ad features rescue workers, those representing them are not pleased with his appeal:
Unions representing the city’s firefighters and police officers immediately demanded that Mr. Lazio pull his most recent ad, calling it an affront. Ed Mullins, the head of the city’s police sergeants’ union, called the ads “as irresponsible as they are reprehensible.”
Lazio has accused his opponent, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, of failing to investigate the center's financing. It's clear, however, that Lazio is not serious about this matter:
[Cuomo] aides [stated] that if Mr. Lazio was serious about uncovering terrorism-related financing, he would make similar requests to the New York Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
...Muslim leaders question Mr. Lazio’s sincerity: Several wondered why, if he had questions about the center’s financing, or the religious leader who is to oversee it, he had not spoken with either the developer or the imam.