The Corner

A High-Tech Dirty Trick in New York’s Fourth

In New York’s Fourth Congressional District (on Long Island), two candidates are contesting the Republican primary: Francis X. “Fran” Becker, a tax-hiking Nassau County legislator, and attorney and Hofstra University law professor Frank Scaturro. In this fight, Becker has leveled nasty attacks against his opponent, calling long-time conservative Republican activist Scaturro “an ultra-liberal” and “an Arlen Specter Democrat.”

This utterly baseless charge must stun those who have endorsed Scaturro, including U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R., Okla.), the Eagle Forum, and the Rockville Center Tea Party Patriots. Scaturro is a well-known and well-liked player in conservative and GOP circles in New York City and Long Island. He appears frequently at gatherings of the conservative movement and speaks eloquently for individual freedom, personal responsibility, and limited government.

Scaturro worked on the Senate Judiciary Committee when then-Republican Specter chaired it, as did many other center-right attorneys, all of whom served other committee Republicans, including such constitutionalist stalwarts as Arizona’s Jon Kyl and Kansas’s Sam Brownback. Scaturro repeatedly receives credit for helping confirm Supreme Court justices Samuel Alito and John Roberts.

Scatturo’s sterling conservative credentials aside, what makes Becker’s behavior truly shocking is that, to support his scurrilous accusations, Becker’s campaign doctored a September 2011 photo of Scaturro with Representative Bob Turner of New York’s Ninth Congressional District. They created a completely fake image of Scaturro “with” Specter and then inserted it in a campaign circular that they distributed last week. As of Friday morning, this same material was on Becker’s campaign website. In one truly unpatriotic touch, Becker’s supposedly conservative operation even edited out Scaturro’s American flag pin. See for yourself:

Becker’s vile lies are beneath contempt. They are fathoms below what one would expect of a Republican candidate and besmirch the good name of the Grand Old Party.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.

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