Rudy Giuliani (R)

"There must be public funding for abortion" (new!)

The video says it all:

 

Keeps priest accused of rape (new!)

Giuliani's consulting firm continues to employ a priest -- Msgr. Alan Placa -- who has been accused of rape by multiple former students. Newsday gave the update on 6/23/07:

In 2002, after Newsday reported accusatons he had molested students decades earlier, the Diocese of Rockville Centre placed Placa on administrative leave. In 2003, a Suffolk County grand jury report cited the accusations by three of his former students and found Placa used his position as diocese vice chancellor to stifle other priest-abuse complaints.

But even after being pressed by survivors'-rights groups, Giuliani still refuses to show Placa the door.

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Iraq Study Group dropout

Giuliani seems to think he can position himself as the national-security candidate. But then why, after he agreed to join the Iraq Study Group in the leadup last year, did he drop out? The answer: it interfered with his money-making. Newsday broke the story on 6/19/07:

Rudolph Giuliani's membership on an elite Iraq study panel came to an abrupt end last spring after he failed to show up for a single official meeting of the group, causing the panel's top Republican to give him a stark choice: either attend the meetings or quit, several sources said.

Giuliani left the Iraq Study Group last May after just two months, walking away from a chance to make up for his lack of foreign policy credentials on the top issue in the 2008 race, the Iraq war.

He cited "previous time commitments" in a letter explaining his decision to quit, and a look at his schedule suggests why - the sessions at times conflicted with Giuliani's lucrative speaking tour that garnered him $11.4 million in 14 months.

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Believes in "goomahs"?

We know that Rudy Giuliani has a checkered marital past. But an eye-opening article in Vanity Fair in June 2007 went further, suggesting that Giuliani may believe in adultery as necessary for a healthy marriage!   As the article said:

Rudy has expressed his belief to at least one prospective groom of my acquaintance that marriage is improved by a goomah (as rendered in The Sopranos) -- the Italian-American dialect word for a significant other woman. His grandfather had had a goomah, Rudy said, with some sensitivity and depth of feeling, and his father had one, and what worked worked.

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WTC 7 debacle

In May, while appearing as a guest on Fox News Sunday, Giuliani passed the buck on why the city's emergency command center was located in Building 7 of the World Trade Center--just a stone's throw from the site of the city's last major terrorist attack. He blamed it on his former director of emergency management, Jerome Hauer:

Jerry Hauer recommended that as the prime site and the site that would make the most sense. He recommended that site as the site that would be the best site. It was largely on his recommendation that that site was selected.

But days later, Hauer produced a memo he wrote in 1996--a memo that recommended, more sensibly, that the center be placed in Brooklyn, in a building that was "not as visible a target as buildings in Lower Manhattan." As Hauer told the gossip columnist Lloyd Grove: "I feel sad that he would betray somebody that had served him loyally in the past, and I'm angry, too. But when you get to know Rudy, you know that this is the kind of thing he does. That's just his personality."

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Dissed farmers

In May, when Giuliani was campaigning in Iowa, he thought it would be a great idea to hold an event with some Iowa farmers. His campaign approached Deb and Jerry VonSprecken, who agreed and invited scores of their neighbors to attend. But then Giuliani cancelled the event--because the farm wasn't worth enough!

"They wanted to know our assets," [Deb VanSprecken] revealed, and added that she and Jerry have a modest 80 acre farm and raise cattle.

Later she received a call from Tony Delgado at the Des Monies location.

"Tony said, 'I'm sorry, you aren't worth a million dollars and he is campaigning on the Death Tax right now.' then he said they weren't going to be able to come," Deb continued.

As the New Republic pointed out, Giuliani's campaign didn't even have the law right -- to get hit with the estate tax, couples need to be worth over $4 million, not $1 million.

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Lobbies for Chavez

For a GOP presidential hopeful, Rudy Giuliani has a business tie to a very surprising figure: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. On 3/14/2007, Bloomberg News reported that Giuliani's law firm, Bracewell & Giuliani LLP, registered in April 2005 to lobby for Citgo, the Venezuelan state oil company. The details:

Citgo has been fully owned by Venezuela's national oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA), since 1990. Chavez, 52, who earlier this year won the authority to supersede the Venezuelan legislature, has the power to appoint and fire PDVSA's top executives and set policy for the company.

. . .

Texas Ethics Commission filings show Citgo paid Bracewell & Giuliani between $75,000 and $150,000 in 2005-06 and will pay an additional $50,000 to $100,000 this year. The firm monitors such issues as environmental regulation and taxes, Oxford said.

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Firefighters' foe

Giuliani's hope is to portray himself as "America's mayor," reminding voters of his decisive leadership during the 9/11 attacks. Unfortunately for him, the one group of people most associated with heroism on 9/11 -- firefighters -- don't see things the same way. From a letter from the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), the worldwide union:

[Giuliani's] actions post 9/11 rise to such an offensive and personal attack on our brother and sisterhood — and directly on our union — that the IAFF does not feel Rudy Giuliani deserves an audience of IAFF leaders and members at our own Presidential Forum.

The disrespect that he exhibited to our 343 fallen FDNY brothers, their families and our New York City IAFF leadership in the wake of that tragic day has not been forgiven or forgotten.

. . .

Giuliani, with the full support of his Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen, decided on November 2, 2001, to sharply reduce the number of those who could search for remains at any one time. There had been as many as 300 fire fighters at a time involved in search and recovery, but Giuliani cut that number to no more than 25 who could be there at once.

In conjunction with the cut in fire fighters allowed to search, Giuliani also made a conscious decision to institute a "scoop-and-dump" operation to expedite the clean-up of Ground Zero in lieu of the more time-consuming, but respectful, process of removing debris piece by piece in hope of uncovering more remains.

Mayor Giuliani's actions meant that fire fighters and citizens who perished would either remain buried at Ground Zero forever, with no closure for families, or be removed like garbage and deposited at the Fresh Kills Landfill.

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Gay roomies

After separating from Donna Hanover, Giuliani moved out of Gracie Mansion and roomed with a gay couple. On 3/8/07, the New York Times reminded readers of his man-pad stint, some details of which might not play too well in the heartland:

[A]n article by The Times of London . . . recounted how the mayor left for City Hall every morning after giving his two hosts a goodbye peck on the cheek — 'a little kiss, it’s cute,' Howard Koeppel, one of his hosts, told the newspaper — and how Mr. Giuliani affectionately called Mr. Koeppel 'mother.'

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Crooked father (& cousin)

In July 2000, Village Voice reporter Wayne Barrett released his book Rudy! : An Investigative Biography of Rudolph Giuliani. It is a book that will make for increasingly popular reading as Giuliani's candidacy progresses. Among Barrett's blockbuster revelations was that Giuliani's family was far from the upstanding bunch he had led the people of New York to believe. The Smoking Gun website gave a good synposis:

Barrett discovered that Giuliani the Elder wasn't such a sweetheart. In fact, Harold was a convicted felon, an armed stickup man who once spent time in Sing Sing after pleading guilty to robbing a milkman. Sentenced to 2-5 years, Harold spent 18 months in the stir before being paroled (Rudy, ironically, is a leading proponent of abolishing parole). Barrett also learned that Harold, whose rap sheet included a couple of other busts, worked as an enforcer for a relative's loan sharking operation, using a baseball bat as his enforcement tool of choice.

Also, Rudy's cousin Lewis D'Avanzo was a stone cold gangster who was shot to death in 1977 by FBI agents when he tried to run them down with his car. According to these FBI records obtained by Barrett, D'Avanzo was a suspect in several homicides and racked up quite a rap sheet.

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Penchant for drag

Get ready to see a lot of this photo, and photos like it, all the way to November 2008. As you might imagine, there are a lot of Americans who might not feel too comfortable voting for a guy who seems to eager to dress up like a girl. The Christian site WorldNet Daily gave a roundup in April 2006:

No that photo you're seeing has not been retouched. It really is Rudy Giuliani made up in a blond wig and pink dress in a spoof of "Victor-Victoria" for the 1997 Inner Circle dinner. He followed that up with more cross-dressing antics on "Saturday Night Live." Then in 2001, he agreed   to appear in drag in an episode of "Queer As Folk."

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Marital rondo

Americans like the private lives of their Presidents to be uncomplicated. Unfortunately for Rudy Giuliani, his marital history has more twists and turns than Days of Our Lives. Wikipedia gives a good roundup:

Giuliani is married to Judith Nathan; this is his third marriage. He has two children, Andrew and Caroline, from his second marriage to television personality Donna Hanover, and one stepdaughter, Whitney, who is Nathan's daughter. Giuliani's first marriage, to Regina Peruggi, was annulled after fourteen years, according to Giuliani, because he discovered he and his wife were second cousins. The couple did not have any children. In May of 2000, the New York Daily News broke news of his relationship to his now-third wife, and Giuliani then called a press conference to announce that he intended to separate from Donna Hanover. Hanover, however, had apparently not been told about his plans before his press conference.

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Bernard Kerik

Given that Presidential candidates get judged by the company they keep, Rudy Giuliani better cross his fingers and hope that he isn't judged on the character of Bernard Kerik. The former New York police commissioner and a close personal friend of the ex-mayor, Kerik was Bush's first nominee to head the Department of Homeland Security in 2004. But that nomination fell apart, and rightly so. The New Republic provided a recap in October 2006:

Within days, allegations surfaced that Kerik had faced arrest for unpaid bills, had close ties to some federal contractors, and had failed to pay taxes on his nanny. The nomination collapsed, calling the White House's judgment into question. In 1999, in what may have been an attempt to win city contracts, the DiTomasso brothers renovated Kerik's Bronx apartment for free. When a Bronx grand jury called the DiTomassos, they allegedly lied about it. . . .Indictments (the DiTomassos, former aide Fred Patrick); ruined careers (former spokesman Tom Antenen); a love affair splashed across the tabloids (with publisher Judith Regan, at a city-owned apartment next to Ground Zero). Amid rumors of an investigation, his former chief of staff reportedly decamped to Brazil, where he apparently tried to sell a Kerik official windbreaker for $1,000 on eBay.

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