Wednesday, August 11, 2010

State Sen. Shirley Huntley: "I Will Not Be Stopped" By Threats by Lisa L. Colangelo - Daily Politics - NY Daily News

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Lisa L. Colangelo of our Queens Bureau reports on this morning's news conference with state Sen. Shirley Huntley, whose receipt of threatening messages we blogged about yesterday:

Huntley said a recent spate of threats against her -- including an bouquet of flowers with the ominous message “Rest in Peace” -- has only strengthened her re-election bid.

“I will not be stopped,” Huntley declared outside her Queens home this morning.

At a carefully orchestrated press conference, Huntley was flanked by more than a dozen supporters including State Senate Majority Conference Leader John Sampson, Senate President Malcolm Smith, state Sens. Jeff Klein, Toby Stavisky and Liz Kruger as well as Assemblywoman Audrey Pfeffer.

Huntley said she spotted the flowers on her doorstep early Tuesday morning.

“There were absolutely beautiful,” she said.

But then she spotted the ribbon on the flowers that read “Rest in Peace.”

It was the final straw, she said, after weeks of harassing phone calls. Huntley picked up the phone and called Sampson right away.

“The people of Senator Huntley’s district won’t tolerate this,” said Sampson, adding that whoever left the flowers stooped to the “ultimate low.”

None of the speakers directly accused Huntley’s Democratic Primary opponent Lynn Nunez or his supporters of leaving the flowers or making the phone calls.

But Smith urged the person responsible to “pack it up, go home, close your door and stay there.”

Nunez has the support of some high profile gay leaders and groups, most notably City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

Sampson has clashed with gay advocates because he has promised to endorse all incumbent Democrats seeking re-election -- even those who voted against the same-sex marriage bill.

“Those who say their rights have been violated should not go about violating someone else’s rights,” said Assemblyman William Scarborough.

The news conference ended without questions from the press but with a prayer by a member of the clergy who said “those who condone it [the harassment] need to be taken off the ballot.”

Nunez put out a statement on Tuesday night decrying the situation.
Huntley said she has “no idea” who is behind the threats.