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Bearak slams Friedrich’s criticism for flier

Corey Bearak, the former campaign manager for state Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck) and a member of Community Board 13, said Monday it was inappropriate for failed Assembly candidate Bob Friedrich to ask CB 13 last week to condemn a controversial mailing sent out by the Weprin campaign.

“If he was attacking somebody else, I would’ve jumped up,” Bearak said in a telephone interview Monday. “It’s highly inappropriate for anybody to interject partisan politics at a community board meeting. That’s not that forum. But he doesn’t have that kind of respect for people.”

“The whole point here is I’ve always respected the lines between community, between civic, between what is partisan politics,” Bearak said. “When people muddle those lines, it impacts everyone else and it’s not helpful.”

Last week, Friedrich used community speaking time at CB 13’s monthly meeting to ask the board to take a stance against a mailing from the Weprin campaign that accused Friedrich of being an extremist. The mailing featured a crime scene with a swastika behind police tape.

Friedrich also brought up the issue Monday at Community Board 11.

While Friedrich claimed the mailing was an attempt to associate him with Nazi ideology, Bearak said the piece was used to illustrate Friedrich’s belief that hate crimes should be treated the same as other offenses not motivated by hate.

“I think the attacks were unfair and unreasonable and totally misrepresented what was in fact done,” Bearak said of Friedrich’s speech at CB 13. “He reacted inappropriately.”

Bearak said Friedrich “tried to make an issue because of the symbol,” but did not distinguish the difference between hate and other crimes “and that’s a big issue out here,” referring to eastern Queens.

“He may not like a provocative piece, but it was truthful about his positions,” Bearak said of the mailing.

The CB 13 member also said Friedrich did a robo-call during the campaign saying Weprin “only targeted Jews” with the mailing, but that was not the case.

“He plays fast and loose with the truth,” Bearak said. “He doesn’t care.”

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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