Maragos Says Turner’s Obama Comments Will ‘Incite Racial Strife’ [Update]

Earlier today, Congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Bob Turner told President Barack Obama to “call off the dogs” and cease

Earlier today, Congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Bob Turner told President Barack Obama to “call off the dogs” and cease a lawsuit meant to desegregate Westchester County.

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The comments brought a swift condemnation from George Maragos, Mr. Turner’s opponent–along with lawyer Wendy Long–in the GOP primary for the right to take on U.S. Sen Kirsten Gillibrand.

‘”Bob Turner’s stunt today calling for Obama to ‘call off the dogs’ has done a grave disservice to Westchester residents by injecting potentially racially divisive language into a sensitive local issue,” Mr. Maragos said.  “I support Westchester in its fight with HUD, however, I fear that Mr. Turner’s ill-advised statement will set back any resolution to the issue, incite racial strife and may negatively impact Westchester residents. By inflaming the housing issue with crude and potentially racially insensitive language, Mr. Turner will give Obama reason to dig in his heals and reject any compromise with Westchester and consequently harm all Westchester residents.”

Clearly, Mr. Maragos sees his path to the nomination as going through Mr. Turner. This marks the second time he has attacked the congressman, and both times were for the conduct of Mr. Turner’s campaign. Back in March, Mr. Maragos accused Mr. Turner of behaving like Barack Obama for holding a campaign announcement at a gas station. Mr. Maragos has been in the race the longest and is the only candidate airing commercials, but he has lagged in polls.

Mr. Maragos also tried to hang Mr. Turner’s brief tenure in Congress against him.

Bob Turner must also answer why as a member of Congress he has not previously spoken up in support of Westchester on this issue?  Obama-style political stunts during a campaign for publicity are a disservice to Westchester residents and all New Yorkers. It also exemplifies all that is wrong with Washington and politicians. They prefer to make accusatory and inflammatory statements in public rather than to find solutions through compromise.

Bob, please put an end to the political stunts! They are harming the residents of Westchester and the Republican Party. Let’s keep the campaign focused on creating jobs, achieving energy independence and improving education for our children.


And the Turner campaign has answered in kind, calling Mr. Maragos’ attacks “bizarre” and “ignorant” and warning him that the Obama administration will come for Long Island next.

Says Turner spox Jessica Proud:

George Maragos is either so ignorant that he doesn’t understand the massive federal government overreach that is occurring in Westchester or he is defending the Obama Administration’s attempts to trample over individual and property rights. If he read the newspapers, he’d realize the significance of the issue Congressman Turner raised today. Obama’s HUD called this housing suit a “grand experiment” and if he can steamroll Westchester, he’ll be coming for Nassau and Suffolk Counties next. Which is it, George?”

Maragos Says Turner’s Obama Comments Will ‘Incite Racial Strife’ [Update]