No perceived good deed goes unpunished. At least not in politics.
A robocall used by Joe Concannon, the Republican challenger in the 11th Senate District race, lambasts incumbent state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) for appearing at a Muslim parade that featured radical Islamic speakers.
The call to potential voters followed the usual script of accusatory questioning, denouncing the first-term senator for a series of alleged misdeeds.
“Did you know that Tony Avella went to Manhattan to support a radical Islamic preacher who supports anti-American ideologies last week?” it asked, according to a transcript provided by the campaign. “A vote for Tony Avella is too much a gamble.” The robocall goes on to laud the former NYPD captain Concannon for various spells of public service.
The robocall goes on to reference Avella’s walkout on the 27th Annual United American Muslim Day Parade, which went viral on YouTube — at least by local political standards.
During a post-parade ceremony, two speakers made controversial declarations, one calling for a global ban on blasphemous speech, the other referencing “Zionist Nazis” and unborn Muslim “martyrs.”
Avella silently left during the speeches, in objection to the content, and refused to comment immediately after the event.
According to Concannon, the appearance itself was an offense.
“By staying in this parade and standing up on the bandshell, it’s a tacit endorsement of everything that was going on,” he said. “As far as I’m concerned, these speakers were radicals. ”
Avella dismissed the accusations, saying Concannon should be ashamed of himself.
“Does he not know that there are Muslims in this Senate district?” he said. “He does not believe that the Muslims in the 11th Senatorial District need any attention? There’s apparently racist overtones to his campaign.”
Concannon said Avella should have more important business to attend to, preferably something closer to home.
“My priorities would be attending a parade in the district,” he said.