Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos slammed Congressman Bob Turner today for his photo-op with the Brooklyn school children who were disallowed from singing “Proud To Be An American.”
“In a desperate attempt to grab a headline, Bob Turner engaged in pure exploitation of kindergarten children using them in a political stunt without parental consent yesterday outside New York City school, P.S. 90,” Mr. Maragos said. “Mr. Turner and his staff manipulated innocent children to sing and pose for photos with him with the alleged promise of being on “T.V.” When called out by parents and bystanders he turned and ran instead of staying to explain why he had recruited children as they exited classes.”
In case you haven’t been following this story–or reading this blog for that matter–Mr. Turner has been harping on the story of the Brooklyn school children who were not allowed to sign the Lee Greenwood Tea Party anthem and were told by the principal of the school to sing Justin Bieber’s “baby” instead. Mr. Turner arranged for the children to sign “Proud To Be An American” in front of TV cameras in front of the school yesterday, an event disrupted by hecklers. Mr. Turner then blamed the disruption on hecklers brought in by Kirsten Gillibrand, an allegation Mr. Maragos called “bizarre” and “baseless.”
“Mr. Turner, those were not hecklers. They were concerned parents and bystanders” he said. “There should be no room in our government for those who exploit school children for political stunts. I call on Bob Turner to immediately apologize for his shameless act. One wonders whether Bob would appreciate his own children being rounded up for a political rally outside their schools. Bob, you may want to be on TV, but leave other people’s children alone.”
Ed Cox, the head of the New York State GOP, has encouraged the three candidates vying to challenge Kirsten Gillibrand on the GOP line in the fall, to keep their campaign clean, but that call appears to be falling on deaf ears. Mr. Maragos has been most often serving as the moral scold, accusing Mr. Turner of “inciting racial strife” for criticizing an Obama housing policy” and again pulling a political stunt when he kicked off his campaign in front of a gas station.
Wendy Long, the third candidate in the race, has gotten in on the act too, but focusing most of her ire on Mr. Cox for what she called his tacit support of Mr. Turner.
Turner spox Bill O’Reilly responds:
“Once again George Maragos fails to know what he’s talking about. Mr. Turner was invited by the parents of the young singers to join them in the patriotic event. We like Mr. Maragos, but urge him to check his facts next time.”