NY13 Blog; Retaking NY-13 from Rep. Vito Fossella

Following the corruption, ineffectiveness and hypocrisy of Rep. Vito Fossella.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Press release on Barbaro's endorsement

NY Political Icon endorses Democratic Congressional candidate Steve Harrison Former State Supreme Court judge and assemblyman Frank Barbaro endorses Harrison 6 PM December 21 press conference at the ferry terminal in Staten Island.

(Staten Island, Brooklyn) Iconic 80 year old former worker organizer, assemblyman and New York Supreme Court judge Frank Barbaro will endorse Democratic Congressional Candidate Steve Harrison at a 6PM, December 21, press conference at the ferry terminal, St George, Staten Island.

Harrison, is challenging New York 13th Congressional District (Staten Island and Southwest Brooklyn) incumbent Vito Fossella, New York City’s only Republican House member, again in 08, after receiving a higher percentage of the vote in 06 than any Democrat since the district’s creation.

Barbaro, in a prepared statement also marveled at Harrison’s o6 election achievement, calling it remarkable for a first time candidate with limited funds.

Barbaro cites Iraq, universal healthcare, preserving social security and protecting worker rights as among the reasons for his support of Harrison.

“Your positions on these issues demonstrated a deep commitment to American Values set forth in our Constitution and to our core Democratic values.”

Barbaro, whose public service career spans more than 50 years, also lauded Harrison’s community involvement.

“Your record of community achievement rooted in volunteer efforts over many years tells me that you will be guided by those you represent, not self interests or the greed of developers that is strangling our community. It is rare that we find a candidate who is honest and a man of integrity like you who always tells the truth,” said Barbaro.

Barbaro, a former longshoreman and labor organizer, after two unsuccessful runs, was elected in 1973 to the New York State assembly representing the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Bensonhurst and Gravesend, serving until 1997, when he joined the State Supreme Court.

After retiring from the bench in 2003, Barbaro in 2004, like Harrison two years later, ran against Fossella, becoming the first Democrat to crack 40 percent against the Staten Island Republican. He also challenged incumbent mayor Ed Koch in a 1981 Democratic primary.

Barbaro, who pursued a law degree at night while working as longshoreman, currently maintains a private law practice in the Albany, NY suburb of Watervliet. Through that practice, he’s still battling Fossella. Barbaro acted as legal council in April for anti-war protesters dubbed the Fossella 5. The group was arrested for disorderly conduct and trespassing after they refused to leave the Republican’s office when his staff wouldn’t contact the Congressman to set up a meeting. The charges were eventually dropped.

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