The Daily News came down hard on state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli today, calling him out for running a “weasel” campaign against Republican nominee Harry Wilson.
The editorial accuses DiNapoli of saying he is for transparency but denying FOIL requests from the Wilson campaign to release his schedule, for making false allegations about Wilson’s plan to privatize the state pension system and for ducking debates.
Writes the DN:
His weasel quotient is stunning.
He alleges that Wilson, an investment professional, profited from the subprime debacle.
The truth is that Wilson’s former firm held a $35.5 million stake in a single subprime lender for a few months in 2007 and lost money. The truth is that, under DiNapoli’s management, the state pension fund had more than $4 billion in companies involved in subprime lending – including the outfit in which Wilson’s firm had invested.
Funny, DiNapoli leaves out that part.
The Wilson campaign must have read the missive with glee, and quickly sent the piece out to reporters along with the following statement from Wilson campaign manager Chapin Fay:
“New Yorkers deserve to hear the truth from their public officials and receive substantive answers and a real debate. Mr. DiNapoli has failed to perform in office and has now failed to acquit himself honorably on the campaign trail. New Yorkers deserve an apology from Mr. DiNapoli and a new pledge of substance from now until Election Day.”
And state G.O.P chairman Ed Cox piled on, citing the article in a release as if it were from the news, rather than the opinion, pages, and DiNapoli was in fact an honest-to-goodness weasel.
“It is disappointing that Tom DiNapoli has resorted to running a dishonest ‘weasel’ campaign. The unelected Comptroller’s tactics are not surprising, however, given that DiNapoli is running scared from voters who want a real fiscal watchdog in Albany – not a lapdog for ‘Taxaholic’ Sheldon Silver and other Democrat leaders who have raised taxes by $14 billion during the last two years,” he said.
The editorial comes a day after news broke about Steven Rattner’s settlement deal, and since Rattner is an ally of Wilson’s it stomps over what should have been a good news morning for DiNapoli. But it is worth noting that Daily News publisher Mort Zuckerman is an ally of Wilson’s as well, and is personally thanked in the acknowledgements of Rattner’s book.
Asked for a response, DiNapoli campaign spokesman Eric Sumberg turned the allegation from the editorial around, and claimed that it was Wilson in fact who was ignoring the real issues.
Wall Street Harry Wilson is once again late to the game. We have been running a campaign on the issues and Harry’s been ducking those issues since day one. It’s a real issue that Harry Wilson made millions while New York families lost their homes, and now he conveniently “can’t remember” his involvement in the investment. It’s a real issue that he wants to turn over control of the pension fund to a group of his Wall Street cronies, all of whom he would directly appoint. It’s a real issue that one of his strongest backers is a central figure in the Hevesi pension scandal who was just fined $5 million by the SEC and banned from the securities industry. It’s a real issue that as a candidate for state Comptroller, he has yet to release his 2009 taxes. And it’s a real issue that he has proposed irresponsible investment practices which would short-change the fund and lead to higher property taxes for New York’s families.