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NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Three Hispanic Politicians Back D'Amato
by Maureen Fan and Kimberly Schaye
October 12, 1998
©Copyright 1998 Daily News, L.P.
Sen. Alfonse D'Amato picked up endorsements from three Hispanic politicians
yesterday as he slammed Rep. Charles Schumer for missing key votes on issues
important to the Latino community.
Meanwhile, the Brooklyn congressman took to D'Amato's Long Island home
turf to woo voters and defend his attendance record.
Speaking to reporters before marching up Fifth Ave. in the Hispanic Day
Parade, D'Amato announced endorsements from former Rep. Herman Badillo,
a Democrat-turned-Republican, and state Sen. Efrain Gonzalez of the Bronx
and Assemblyman Vito Lopez of Brooklyn, both Democrats. "When people
send us to Congress, they expect us to work full- time; they don't expect
us to put politics first. And indeed when it comes to the people of Puerto
Rico, Chuck Schumer has not been there," the Republican lawmaker said.
D'Amato later unveiled a new Spanish-language radio ad with the same
theme charging Schumer missed key votes on Puerto Rico's status as a commonwealth
and bi-lingual education.
Stumping in Nassau County, Schumer said he never missed a session where
his vote would be decisive and said he had an obligation to travel around
the state letting voters know where he stands.
"I'll match my record of effective, conscientious representation
with his any day," the Democrat said at a campaign stop at Adelphi
University in Garden City. "Al D'Amato has an abysmal record of effectiveness."
Later, at a Wantagh street festival, Schumer was asked by supporter Mary
Ellen Orchard what she should tell friends who believe D'Amato has a point
about the attendance issue.
"Here's what you say: I have a 92% attendance record," Schumer
answered. "The way Al D'Amato votes, you'd want him to miss some votes."
Joe Chiaffitella, a baseball memorabilia vendor wearing a Yankees cap,
wanted to know Schumer's stance on another pressing issue.
"Are you a Yankees fan or a Mets fan?" he asked.
"Well, I like both," Schumer answered.
"He's a politician," Chiaffitella said to fellow vendor Bill
Pezzulo, a Mets fan.
At the Long Beach boardwalk, Schumer was heckled by Bob Murphy, a steel
erector and Republican who yelled from a clam bar, "Hey, Chuck, you
should be in Washington working on the budget, man. How many votes did you
miss, one hundred?"
"You compare my record to D'Amato's, it's much better," Schumer
After the two had a spirited debate about gun control which Schumer supports
and Murphy opposes Schumer extended his hand.
"So we disagree," Schumer said.