2009-11-06 / Letters

Politicians Break The Rules

Dear Editor,

This morning, when I went to vote, I noticed a car parked in front of the polling station (under a no parking sign) with a campaign sticker emblazoned on the door for Frank Gullu - scio. When I asked the officer on duty inside if that was appropriate, he came outside with me, investigated and agreed it was not because the law says all campaign literature must be at least 200 feet away from the polling station on Election Day and this was about 15-20 feet away from the entrance and directly in front of the building itself.

While the officer " went to find the owner, I began to snap a picture of the car with the Vote Gulluscio sign using my cell phone.

Frank Gulluscio (whose car it apparently was) then came over to me and told me not to snap the picture. First he said it was only there for a few minutes (that wasn't true because I had seen it when I went in as well as when I came out and had been inside a while). Then he said that it wasn't illegally parked because there was no school on Election Day.

When I reminded him of the rule against electioneering within 200 feet of the polling station he said, "Oh, you mean THAT rule," as if it had somehow slipped his mind and grinned knowingly at me. As someone with him was getting into the car to move it, Gulluscio continued speaking to me in a belligerent tone, saying I should be a man and not make a big deal about it, etc., etc. I wished him luck and he, after asking my name, offered me his hand and Idid the same. But despite his now moderated words, his tone of voice remained gruff and overbearing, as if he still meant to intimidate me. I left when his driver finally drove the car away.

Meanwhile Assemblywoman Aud - rey Pheffer and several of her fellow campaigners were observing from only a few feet away, on the corner of Beach 135 and Cronston (on the sch - ool side!), as they handed out literature to voters for Mr. Gulluscio. I was reminded of how, when I ran against Audrey a few years back and some of my supporters were in that same spot seeking to hand out literature for me,

her people called the cops on them, forcing them to move another full block

away because of the 200 feet rule.

It never ceases to amaze me how some people in the political world operate with this kind of double standard, breaking the very rules they seek to enforce on others — or that they would even stoop to such election day shenanigans at all. Is winning so important that they feel that the rules should be flouted as long as they can get away with it? Certainly Ms. Pheffer, an experienced hand for more than two decades, ought to know better, even if one doesn't expect as much from relative newcomer Frank Gullu - scio who seems to think that bully boy tactics are the way to win friends and influence people on Election Day.


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