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The glossy fliers were distributed by a young man at the Bayside railroad station last week."Question: Our schools need education funds here. So why would Frank Padavan vote to send millions to wealthy districts here?" the flier says on one side, with arrows pointing first at Queens and then at Long Island.There is no information or logo on the flier to identify its source, but Padavan said in a telephone interview that he thought they came from the state Senate Democratic Campaign Committee, which is targeting sitting Republicans in an attempt to wrest control from the GOP body."It's from a Democratic political organization who's out to unseat us. It's scurrilous to begin with and it's the worst form of politics," Padavan said.He shrugged off the allegations as false, saying the city Education Department and the United Federation of Teachers back him, and that the only correct item on the flier was his district office phone number.The New York State Democratic Committee, denied any knowledge of the literature campaign."The flier is news to us, but we think it presents a very good question. Why did he support a budget that sends millions of dollars to schools on Long Island while students in Queens are trying to get by in overcrowded classrooms?" asked Jonathan Rosen, a spokesman for the committee, paraphrasing a sentence from the flier about a March 13 budget vote. Padavan said he had heard recently about the fliers from a fellow Republican senator from Rochester, Joseph Robach."They're being handed out in other Republican districts from Rochester to New York City," Padavan said. "It's a political vehicle in every respect, and it's absolutely false."The senator flatly denied he had voted to send funds to Long Island rather than his own district."It's not true in Rochester either, but that's not the point," he said. "The last four years, we've had record increases [in money for city schools]. I work very closely with the Campaign for Fiscal Equity and the city, and have been advancing their agenda successfully."The UFT endorsed Padavan in the last election as one of the state Senate Republicans "who have supported issues dear to us like education funding," the organization said in a 2006 press release.Since the fliers started appearing in Padavan's district last week, his staff said constituents concerned by the allegations had been calling for several days .
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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