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Heritage Club’s support of Harrison dismissed

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In politics, a win is a win is a win – even if the fix may already be in. Members of congressional candidate Steven Harrison’s camp are touting the “100 percent” endorsement the borough attorney received from the Bay Ridge American Heritage Club last week in his pitched primary battle with City Council-member Domenic Recchia – even though everyone pretty much knows that Harrison is a longstanding member of that particular organization and that club President Ralph Perfetto is helping his campaign. “That was expected, it’s his [Harrison’s] club,” a Recchia spokesperson said this week, adding that the Bensonhurst City Councilman couldn’t attend an endorsement debate held by the club on March 10 because his daughter had become light-headed and fell at school and had to be taken to an area hospital for tests. It was one of two endorsement debates in Bay Ridge that Recchia had to miss that night. He and Harrison are both vying for the Democratic nomination that would put them head to head with Republican incumbent Vito Fossella in the fight for the 13th Congressional District this year. Harrison, who lost to Fossella back in 2006, announced his intentions to run again last summer. Although he is actively fundraising, Recchia has yet to officially announce his run for the 13th Congressional District. Perfetto, who is also a Bay Ridge Democratic District Leader, said that his club’s endorsement of Harrison wasn’t secure until Recchia was a no show Monday. “Originally we had our endorsement meeting set for February, but when Recchia said he couldn’t make it we booked a second event,” Perfetto said. “We altered our plans for him because we wanted to hear what he had to say.” When Recchia an-nounced that he couldn’t make the second debate, the club voted to endorse Harrison. The vote was 76 for Harrison and none for Recchia. Three people voted “no endorsement.” “I guess those three people thought they wanted to vote for Recchia, but voted no endorsement instead when he didn’t show up,” said Perfetto, who wasn’t shy in raising the query that the councilman used his daughter’s illness to back out of the meeting. “We heard that his daughter was taken to the hospital early in the day and that he probably could have made it to the debate if he really wanted to,” Perfetto said. “We have to look into that.” Recchia’s spokesperson would not dignify Perfetto’s allegations with a response. The second endorsement debate Recchia missed, which was sponsored by Brooklyn Democrats for Change, was postponed until April — reportedly at Harrison’s request. “I have total respect for the councilman’s situation,” Harrison said as he addressed the group that Monday. “I would prefer to wait until next month.”

Updated 6:57 pm, October 10, 2011
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