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Gleason Camp Fires Back

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6a01127920a5dc28a40120a4f0cb8b970b-800wi We now have a response from Pete Gleason's campaign regarding yesterday's court ruling, putting City Council member Alan Gerson back on the ballot. We have updated our story on the hearing with comments from Gleason's attorney, Ray Dowd. Gleason filed a lawsuit, accusing Gerson of candidate fraud. He'll now file an appeal, in hopes of knocking Gerson off the ballot again. Outside the courtroom, the Gerson campaign released a statement, saying:

Pete Gleason "failed in his attempt to abuse the judicial system in a
cynical effort to deny the voters their fundamental democratic right.
It calls Gleason "ethically unfit to represent the area in the City
Council." The statement continues,"His campaign offers very little in
what he will do to improve the lives of people in Lower Manhattan, and
seems concentrated almost entirely on distorting my record and personal
insults, that to this point, he has failed to disavow."

Here's the response from Paul Newell, Gleason campaign spokesman:

It's great that Alan Gerson thinks that challenging other candidates' petitions is ethically unsound because he himself did so six years ago. We're glad that we finally brought him around to the fact that people should have access to the ballot. But that being said, when a candidate engages in alteration of legal documents after they have been circulated, when a candidate engages in using the resources of non-profits for political purposes, and these are all questions that Alan Gerson has yet to respond to, respond to why and how and the nature of his relationship to non-profits who encourage their employees to campaign on his behalf, and these questions will be taken up by the court… As you can see here today, Pete is out here in front of the Pitt Station Post Office campaigning on that issue. Pete has been campaigning on good public school access for all of our kids, and the real planning and forethought that we need for a growing community, which Alan Gerson has failed on for 8 years. For 8 years Alan Gerson has sat by and watched as a clear demographic trend required new services for our community, and sat on his hands and did nothing. We need change and we need change that works. I'm glad that Alan feels strongly that he should be on the ballot. The 80-percent of New Yorkers, in two separate referenda felt he should not be on the ballot this year, and that no two term incumbent should be on the ballot. So he's already changed the rules once by extending his own term limits. Now he's trying to change the rules regarding cover sheets and alteration of document.

A bit of context: Six years ago, Gerson tried to force Gleason off the ballot. Outside court yesterday, Gerson called that "ancient history" and he said the circumstances were very different. Back then, Gerson argued, the issue was whether Gleason had enough valid signatures. He said that's very different from the case Gleason is trying to make now. As for the accusations that United Jewish Council employees improperly collected signatures for Gerson, the Council member's attorney said yesterday there's no evidence to support the claims.

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One final note: Newell referred to the fact that Gleason was outside the Pitt Station Post Office on Clinton Street today, collecting signatures to keep the facility open. He set up right next to a table Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has had in front of the post office all week. Silver and Rep. Carolyn Maloney have gathered over 1300 signatures in preparation for a campaign to prevent the possible closure.  But it's very clear there is absolutely no coordination between the Silver and Gleason efforts. In fact, Silver is supporting Gerson. And from the "oh, what a tangled web file," Newell's the same guy who unsuccessfully ran against Silver last year. He is now running for district leader against former Gerson aide Avi Turkel.

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