Firefighters Take on Rudy in Florida
Updated 9:56 p.m.
By Matthew Mosk
Florida is brimming with make-or-break intensity for Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign, so it comes as no surprise that some of his strongest critics are becoming active there.
The International Association of Firefighters today reported spending $67,196 to send out literature in Florida opposing Giuliani's candidacy. Last week, the union spent $43,661 to send members into the state to campaign against the former New York mayor.
In November, the union's president told the Post that its members were battling Giuliani because of what they saw as a pattern of rewarding loyalty over competence in personnel decisions. "It's pretty clear that his judgment on political appointments was weighted more heavily to cronies and friends than to quality," Harold Schaitberger, president of the International Association of Fire Fighters told The Post's Alec MacGillis. "Are we going to have a chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who's a private first class but who happens to be a friend? Are we going to have a law clerk who becomes attorney general?"
At the time, the Giuliani campaign dismissed the criticism, saying that Giuliani's judgment as a manager was vindicated by his administration's overall success in reducing crime and welfare and improving the city's quality of life and economy.
The Giuliani campaign disputed the reach of the firefighters union. The campaign released a statement from Larry Peterson, who is the division chief of the Jacksonville Fire Department and the national chairman of Firefighters for Rudy.
The IAFF does "not speak for me or for all firefighters. Firefighters from across the country are supporting Rudy Giuliani for all the things he has done to advocate for firemen and first responders, and that he will do for us as President of the United States."
Web Politics Editor
January 23, 2008; 6:35 PM ET
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