Op-Ed: Vito Bruno’s Outrageous, Brazenly Hypocritical Campaign

Andrew Gounardes speaks about his campaign platform. Photo by Kelly Mena

Editor’s note: This op-ed was co-written by Democratic Districts leaders Chris McCreight – AD 46; Joseph Bova – AD 49; Lori Maslow – AD 41; Brad Reid – AD 41; Joanne Seminara – AD 64 – all of whom represent all or part of State Sen. Andrew Gournardes’ senate district. 

Recently, we saw an Op-Ed by Curtis Sliwa in this paper that was filled with lies and inaccuracies, both intentional and unintentional, against the candidate that we as community leaders are proudly supporting for State Senate District 22, State Senator Andrew Gounardes. Andrew has more than earned another term in Albany with his tireless advocacy for our local communities and staunch support and proven record of success on behalf of working people – from our 9/11 responders to essential workers battling this pandemic to middle-class New Yorkers desperately trying to access their unemployment payments.

State Senator Andrew Gounardes
State Senator Andrew Gounardes
Vito Bruno
Senate candidate Vito Bruno

Candidate Vito Bruno has launched a hateful dog-whistle campaign that would make the creators of the “Willie Horton” ad blush. He seems to think that if he riles people up enough, he can get away with having no plans and absolutely no record of community service. He promised in July to roll out plans and policies; it’s 2 weeks from Election Day and not a plan or policy can be found. That’s not surprising from someone who didn’t so much as show up to a local event or a community board meeting before June 2020.

But it gets much, much worse than that – not only does he have no record of helping others in our neighborhoods — his violent, drug-filled nightclubs were everything he accuses Senator Gounardes of. Like his Presidential candidate, President Trump, he deflects and projects against others what he knows to be his own flaws.

In the 90’s, when his club was forced to close by terrified members of the community because of shootings and violence in the neighborhood, a community leader said: “Sleep was virtually impossible Friday and Saturday nights between 1 and 5 A.M. and residents were fearful to venture into the streets.”

This is the candidate who now claims he’ll bring safety to our community? We wouldn’t feel safe at all with him in office.

In the op-ed, Sliwa calls Senator Gounardes a “clone of AOC.” For anyone that knows Senator Gounardes, that’s laughable. He’s no clone, period. He listens to all sides of an issue and makes his own decisions. And in ways large and small, from the funding he’s brought to our neighborhoods, to the little libraries he helped put up, to the elevators in the subway that he advocated for – our neighborhoods are better for it.

Ignore the foolish lies and the noise. Re-elect State Senator Andrew Gounardes!