The Corner

GOP Candidate Smeared as an Arlen Specter Liberal . . . by an Arlen Specter Donor

As the race in New York’s fourth congressional district speeds toward Tuesday’s Republican primary, candidate Bruce Blakeman has exhumed a dead-and-buried issue from the 2012 campaign. In that GOP face-off for the House seat now held by retiring Democrat U.S. Representative Carolyn McCarthy, Nassau County legislator Francis X. “Fran” Becker called attorney and conservative activist Frank Scaturro a leftist wolf in rightist clothing.

Becker’s “proof” was Scaturro’s service on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee during the chairmanship of the since-deceased Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania. While Scaturro worked for the panel, Specter was a Republican. However, Specter, the one-time assistant counsel to the Warren Commission and father of the Magic Bullet Theory, defected to the Democratic Party on April 28, 2009.

While I was among the journalists who interred this phony “issue” just two years ago, Blakeman has unearthed it anew. His campaign has used social media and TV ads to fabricate a zombie controversy.

Referring to Scaturro, Blakeman’s Facebook page on Friday cited “the years he spent worker [sic] as a top aide to turncoat Senator Arlen Specter in the United States Senate Judiciary Committee.” Blackeman’s Facebook post continued: “Specter, who bolted the Republican Party in early 2009, employed Frank Scaturro on his staff — an important fact Frank Scaturro wishes no one would remember. Scaturro continues to refute undeniable fact [sic] that he worked for Arlen Specter.”

Refute?

Scaturro’s campaign website, in fact, details his Judiciary Committee tenure. As Scaturro himself explains:

I served as Counsel for the Constitution on the Senate Judiciary Committee from 2005 to 2009, where I served on the Republican side and helped secure the appointments of conservative judges to the federal bench. Because Arlen Specter, then a Republican, was chairman (later ranking member), meaning that he led committee Republicans, the coordinating Republican committee staff of which I was a part answered to him. We also served all other Republican senators, from Orrin Hatch to Tom Coburn. 

Indeed, Senator Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) wrote a letter backing Scaturro for Congress.

“You were a great support to all of the Republican senators on the Committee, and in all of your work, you consistently displayed a sincere commitment to conservative principles,” Coburn told Scaturro in his endorsement communiqué. Coburn added that Scaturro “consistently demonstrated fidelity to the Constitution and a philosophy of government consistent with the vision of the Founders.” Clearly, Blakeman’s attacks on Scaturro are entirely hollow. Far worse, though, they are steeped in the stench of six-foot-deep hypocrisy.

Bruce Blakeman made five distinct donations to Arlen Specter’s campaign organizations, totaling $4,400. So confirms the Center for Responsive Politics’ OpenSecrets.org website. (Specter refunded Blakeman $1,100 on July 17, 2010.) If working under Specter makes Scaturro a liberal, what does handing Specter $3,300 in net contributions make Blakeman?

 Also, Madison Strategies, Ltd., a political consultancy of which Blakeman is president, contributed $2,500.00 on August 4, 2006, to the gubernatorial committee of hooker-loving Democrat Eliot Spitzer.

And on July 11, 2007, Blakeman’s company donated $1,000 to the mayoral campaign of Democrat cybersex pioneer Anthony Weiner.

And Blakeman has the gall to accuse my Reaganite friend Frank Scaturro of being “no conservative?”

Bruce Blakeman is succumbing to a terminal case of chutzpah. Thus, he deserves to lose to Frank Scaturro on Tuesday. Long Island Republicans should make that happen.

Deroy Murdock — Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online.

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