Morse Decries Opposition Researcher On Breslin Payroll
Democratic Senate candidate Shawn Morse is accusing the campaign of Sen. Neil Breslin is engaging in “Nixon-style politics” because he has a private investigator on the payroll to dig up opposition research.
And assuming the private eye might be hitting pay dirt, Morse admitted that he has had “a few bar fights” and a drunken driving charge 15 years ago.
Morse’s campaign today is pointing to the hiring of the John R. Probst Investigation firm by the Breslin re-election campaign, a sign that he says his opponent is working to find embarrassing and unflattering background information.
“He can’t defend his failed record, so Breslin is trying to dig up dirt—any dirt—he can use against me. This is paranoid, Nixon-style politics at its worst. The voters deserve an honest campaign, but Breslin is stooping to a despicably low level, even by the State Legislature’s low standards, so he can avoid telling the truth on key issues,” Morse said.
Records show that Breslin has paid Probst’s company $379.18 over the most current campaign disclosure period, listing him as a consultant. In the July filing, Probst was listed as receiving two payments of $500 and $405.
The knock comes after the Breslin campaign sought to highlight Morse retaining the services of Stanley Schlein, a Bronx lawyer and power broker who has ties to Sen. Jeff Klein and disgraced former Majority Leader Pedro Espada.
Morse’s uses the news that Breslin has retained a investigator to air some of his own dirty laundry, presumably before his opponent can.
“… He’s planning to launch a smear campaign based on already public information his private investigators have brought to his attention: the fact that, more than fifteen years ago, I got into a few bar fights while sticking up for women who were getting harassed, and was arrested once for driving under the influence. I’ve talked about these issues before, and always acknowledged them, and the voters who know me know these are non-issues that have no bearing on this race,” he said in a statement.
To be sure, the hiring of opposition researchers is hardball politics, but certainly not unusual even in a state legislative primary, especially one that is a proxy war between the mainstream Democratic conference and the four-member Independent Democratic Conference. And today’s attack from Morse could also serve as an advertisement to reporters that they’ve got opposition research on file.
The Breslin campaign called the charge “desperate” in a statement.
“It’s ironic that a candidate running a dirty campaign with zero substance is attacking a progressive Senator with a history of accomplishments,” said campaign manager Dan Hornick. “Senator Breslin has spent his career helping others and will continue to fight for progressive values such as raising the minimum wage, protecting women’s health, ensuring all New Yorkers have access to quality health care and education. Shawn Morse has done nothing this campaign other than accept money from Republican-leaning interests and make wild, baseless accusations. The voters of the 44th Senate District see through these desperate, self-serving tactics.”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on August 20, 2012 at 1:48 pm, and is filed under Democrats. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|