An opponent of John Duane in the race to replace Ann-Margaret Carrozza is crying foul over a recent piece of literature that the Duane campaign sent out. In it, Duane, who served in the Assembly over 20 years ago, touts his record of fighting on behalf of Vietnam veterans – in a legislative capacity, or course – when their post-war struggles were being overlooked by the country at large.
While he served in the Assembly in the 80s, Duane sponsored a tuition assistance bill for veterans of the Vietnam War.
At issue is a quote in the campaign literature that reads, “We didn't return home to parades. It seemed like America just wanted to forget Vietnam, even the veterans like me who served there.”
Well, Duane opponent Elio Forcina didn't care for the “we” and the “me” in that particular quote. Forcina charges that the quote is being used to mislead voters into thinking that Duane actually served in the military and fought in the Vietnam War, neither of which is the case. In fact, according to Forcina, Duane decided to stay out of Vietnam, applying for conscientious objector status.
Forcina quickly sent out a press release denouncing the literature, and clarifying that he is the only candidate in the primary – also running are Steve Behar and Edward Braunstein – who has a record of military service. Forcina served in the Marines and was stationed in Israel.
“My opponents are full of bluster and empty promises,” read his release. “Like most people in John Duane's Manhattan circles, he and the rest of my opponents chose not to serve. There is only one veteran in this race – and that’s me. And when I’m in Albany, I will fight for the rights of veterans and working families just like I fought for our country in the Marines."
We're printing the controversial page so you can decide for yourself if it is misleading.
To be fair, the rest of the flier, which is four pages long, clarifies that what Duane did to help veterans was sponsor a tuition assistance bill, and it never states as fact that he actually served in Vietnam.
Nevertheless, the Forcina campaign has jumped on the vague wording and made it a campaign issue, time will tell if it pays off at the polls.