I respectfully submit the NY-13 race as a prime example. In recent days, Michael Allegretti has been pressing Michael Grimm on the use of photos of Grimm by his campaign showing him with medals that he knew he wasn't entitled to wear.
Why does Michael Grimm continue to avoid giving a credible explanation as to why he knowingly used photos of himself, on numerous campaign materials, wearing military awards that he knew he did not earn and should not be wearing? The voters of Brooklyn and Staten Island deserve answers.The issue revolves around a photo of Grimm in his Marine dress uniform that he used on his website and campaign materials until several weeks ago. Specifically, he is wearing a Meritorious Unit Citation and Presidential Unit Citation, both from the Army.
Here is the photo in question:
At the time I was wearing them, I was entitled to wear them," Grimm said. "To have this petulant child say anything about my military service when he hasn't served a day in his life is truly distasteful.
Michael Grimm has done something wrong, something dishonest, something that goes to the core of his integrity. It has absolutely nothing to do with his service. It has to do with his integrity," Allegretti said in an interview. "What he has done is use a photo in which he admits that he has medals on that he is not supposed to be wearing, and he is trying to confuse the issue by saying 'Allegretti never served, so don't worry about it'You see where this is going... Let's give actual fact-finders the final word:
Moreover, according to City Hall newspaper, the military record keeper was not familiar with any Marine unit serving jointly with the army in Iraq.
Grimm’s service record also includes the full list of the awards he received: the Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Southwest Asia Service Medal with 3 bronze stars, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal with bronze “M”, the Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia) the Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait) and the National Defense Medal.
Those, and only those, are the awards Grimm won while serving from 1989 through 1997 and achieving the rank of corporal, according to his file retrieved by Major Shawn Haney, a Marine Corps public affairs officer. (Emphasis added)
Unfortunately, after all this sound and fury, we're still without a definitive answer to Mr. Allegretti's question and are still left to ask why Michael Grimm used a photo of him in uniform with honors he knows did not earn in his political campaign.
Needless to say I have my own opinion on this situation, but I encourage everyone to investigate this and any other competitive race and judge for yourselves. Test your candidates to see how they react when they are pushed, prodded, questioned and challenged. That's the true measure of a prospective representative.