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“Shameful” Allegretti Exploiting Photos With Soldiers, Veteran Group Says

June 16, 2010

Michael Allegretti, one of only two candidates the Brooklyn GOP is openly supporting, has recently come under fire for using his pictures with war veterans as campaign media on his personal website.

In Tom Wrobleski‘s latest piece, the debacle is detailed.

This comes after reports that his primary opponent Mike Grimm garnered over 1000 signatures in Brooklyn, theoretically Mr. Allegretti’s “home turf.”

Please visit SILIVE.com here for access to the entire article, a portion of which is reprinted below:

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — An Iraq War veterans political group is accusing GOP congressional candidate Michael Allegretti of exploiting the military, and is demanding that he remove pictures of himself posing with soldiers from his campaign website.

“Allegretti should take down those pictures immediately because our Marines and veterans should not be used as pawns to advance Allegretti’s political ambitions,” said Kieran Lalor, founder of the Iraq Veterans for Congress PAC.

He said the group hadn’t endorsed Allegretti’s GOP opponent, Michael Grimm, a Marine veteran of the first Gulf War, but said it would likely do so in the future. Grimm’s photo appears on the homepage of the group’s website.

Lalor said that Allegretti’s use of military photos was “particularly shameless and disgraceful because he obviously doesn’t think military service is particularly valuable since his entire campaign consists of saying that he is more qualified to be a congressman than a Gulf War veteran.”

Lalor said he objects to a photo on the website showing Allegretti posing with a group of young Marines in dress uniform, and another of the candidate with Marine Corps League members. A separate photo gallery on the website shows Allegretti attending Memorial Day parades here and in Brooklyn.

Said Lalor, “I had to chuckle at the political stupidity of trying to use contrived pictures standing next to Marines and veterans to help win an election against a Marine veteran.”

Lalor, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, said he wondered if the military members in the photos knew they would be appear on Allegretti’s website.

Steve Gonzalez, a veteran who is director of operations for Allegretti, said Lalor’s comments were a “desperate and shameful” attack on the part of the Grimm campaign.

“This whole argument is ridiculous, because the pictures we took for our website were never meant to exploit the military,” he said. “I am a veteran and I can tell you first hand how supportive Michael Allegretti is of our military.”

Gonzalez said the picture with the young Marines was taken at the Brooklyn GOP’s Lincoln Day Dinner, which he said Grimm did not attend. He said that Allegretti was invited to pose with the Marine Corps League members, “not the other way around…”

We have and will continue to follow any developments in this race.

Be sure to share your thoughts with us about this race via email or as a comment below.

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One Comment
  1. War Veteran permalink
    June 16, 2010 11:57 pm

    As a veteran and a reader of tis blog, let me say I think Alegretti is acting like a fool with this whole thing. I’m supporting Grimm because he’s a man I can understand, and he knows what I’ve been through and what this country needs.

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