A City Council hopeful from northeast Queens pledged a strong allegiance to his flag pin after a scuttle with the city Campaign Finance Board over whether or not he could be pictured wearing it.
Retired NYPD Capt. Joseph Concannon, the Reform Party candidate challenging incumbent Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens), said the CFB barred him from sporting an American flag pin on his suit jacket for the board’s official voter guide.
“This is not a banana republic. This is the United States of America,” Concannon said. “Every candidate should be wearing the American flag. This is a clear-cut case of promoting anti-Americanism from a government agency charged with running free and fair democratic elections in New York City.”
He took to the airwaves after learning of the CFB provision last week, which says candidates cannot wear pins or buttons in photos used for voter guides or videos.
“I am mad as hell,” Concannon said on his Facebook page. “We live in America and should proudly display our flag prominently when ever possible.”
It was not Concannon’s only problem with the CFB either. Earlier this month, the retired cop was up in arms over the board not including his candidate biography on its website or in its printed election guide.
CFB spokesman Matt Sollars said the Bellerose native’s name was included on both the board’s website and print guide, but neither included a bio. Records showed Concannon registered with the CFB Sept. 9, Sollars said.
“These are reasonable deadlines that are necessary for us to collect and produce a voter guide that is printed and mailed to every registered voter in New York City,” Sollars said. “Every candidate is afforded the opportunity to submit a statement.”
Concannon contended that the CFB listed him as a certified candidate back in early August, when he announced he would be running for the northeast Queens seat representing neighborhoods including Bayside, Bellerose, Douglaston, Fresh Meadows, Glen Oaks, Little Neck and Oakland Gardens.
At that time, Concannon entered the race to combat Weprin’s position on the controversial issue of stop-and-frisk.
Over the summer, Weprin, along with several other Council members, voted against the Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policies and overrode Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s veto of the Community Safety Act, which includes a police oversight bill.
Concannon threw his support behind the mayor and NYPD, arguing that stop-and-frisk laws keep the city safer and should not be classified as bias or racial profiling.
Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4573.
©2013 Community News Group
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