Kim workers allege racial harassment

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Two volunteers for City Council candidate Kevin Kim have filed a police complaint that they were harassed last week by a group of youths, who shouted racial slurs and tossed a football at them as they campaigned along Francis Lewis Boulevard, a spokesman for Kim said.

The volunteers, a man and a woman in their early 20s, were visiting stores along Francis Lewis Boulevard at the Cross Island Parkway to pass out campaign fliers for Kim, a Democrat and a Korean American, when a group of young men sitting on a stoop yelled anti-Asian comments at them, said Michael Tobman, Kim’s spokesman.

“They yelled out some pretty awful ethnic slurs and one of them threw a football at our team,” Tobman said. “We felt it was important for this not to go unnoticed.”

Tobman said the youths referred to Dan Halloran, Kim’s Republican opponent, during the incident. But he did not indicate if Kim’s camp believed the youths had anything to do with Halloran’s campaign.

“Halloran’s name was on their lips, which is what we’re upset about,” Tobman said. “We’d hoped Dan would call Kevin. We find the whole incident troubling.”

The 109th Precinct confirmed that Kim’s campaign had filed an incident report on the matter.

Steven Stites, a spokesman for Halloran, said Halloran’s campaign had nothing to do with the incident.

“We obviously reject the alleged incident and don’t think it has any place in the campaign,” he said.

Stites also took a shot at Kim’s endorsement by the Working Families Party.

“Kevin Kim claims to be a reform candidate, but he stealthily accepted the help of the Working Families Party, ACORN and their insider cronies,” Stites said. “The WFP’s role in other campaigns is under investigation by the city Campaign Finance Board, local district attorneys and possibly the attorney general.”

To date, Kim has raised $324,841 and spent a total of $328,759, according to city campaign finance records. Kim has not participated in the city’s matching funds program, which matches contributions to candidates under $175 by as much as six times.

Halloran has raised $28,057 as well as $71,541 through the matching funds program.

The winner of the Nov. 3 general election will replace Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside), who was first elected in 2001 and opted to run in the Democratic primary for mayor against city Comptroller William Thompson, who defeated him.

The seat covers Bayside, Auburndale, Little Neck, Douglaston, Whitestone, Bay Terrace, East Flushing, Malba and College Point.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

Posted 6:29 pm, October 10, 2011
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