State Sen. Tony Avella, D-Bayside, and some of his supporters said they were upset by a robocall from Republican challenger Joe Concannon that accuses the senator of associating with Muslim radicals.
The robocall, which went out last week, references Avella’s recent attendance at the city’s Muslim Day Parade, but also mentions that the senator once worked for Mayor David Dinkins and accuses him of hanging out with Charles Barron, D-Brooklyn, a City Councilman and former Black Panther, and controversial activist Sonny Carson.
“Did you know that Tony Avella went to Manhattan to support a radical Islamic preacher who supports anti-American ideologies last week?” the robocall says.
Avella said the call failed to mention that the senator was seen storming off the stage at the parade after a speaker made anti-Israel and anti-American comments.
“It’s really despicable in my opinion,” Avella said of the Concannon robocall. “He should be ashamed of himself. It’s full of lies and distortions. When people complain about politics, this is what they complain about – nasty, negative campaigning.”
Concannon’s campaign could not be reached for comment. But the candidate told NY 1 he was not “part of the hate crowd” and that he was trying to draw contrasts between himself and the senator.
Andy Rothman, a Bayside resident, said he was upset by the call, which he received last week.
“It was really disgusting,” he said. “I thought it was really racist. The call mentioned Sonny Carson, Charles Barron and Mayor Dinkins, all of whom are black. Then, it mentioned that he supported Muslims. The real truth was that he was invited to the parade as an official and he walked out after hearing people saying nasty stuff about America.”