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Local clergy denounce attack by Faso

Jul 16, 2018 1:33 pm
Paul Brooks in the Times Herald-Record reports that 18 Hudson Valley-based religious leaders are calling for Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) to retract his review of some of the lyrics of a hip hop album put out by his opponent, Antonio Delgado, in 2006. “Shame on you!” a letter addressed to Faso from 18 local members of the clergy says. “This tactic should be called out for what it is, a thinly veiled, racist attack for the purpose of insinuating fear in the voters in our district. Employing this tactic is distasteful, offensive, and morally wrong.” Last week, even though the existence of Delgado's 2006 album – credited to AD the Voice – “Painfully Free” has been mentioned in the media and campaign for over a year, Faso said in a July 9 press release, “I was shocked and surprised to learn Mr. Delgado authored some very troubling and offensive song lyrics. ... Mr. Delgado’s lyrics paint an ugly and false picture of America.” In a letter to Faso, the clergy are asking the Congressperson, “to retract your attack, and continue this Congressional race with integrity and honesty.” On July 13 the Republican-backed super PAC the Congressional Leadership Fund began paying for a radio advertisement to air locally in the Albany and Poughkeepsie media markets, centered on Delgado’s recordings and lyrics. Delgado’s lyrics do include a few references to drug use and sexual encounters, and do also tackle politics, such as the government's insufficient response to the victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. “Think about our history and trace it back to when the Super Dome got packed in, like a slave ship, thousands left to die like they ain’t worth (expletive). How can we forget the past when it lives in the present? Why the response wasn’t as fast as 9/11? The crescent city abandoned,” is one Delgado lyric. On July 13 the Democrat defended his music again, saying, “The mission of my music was clear - to speak to and inspire folks who have felt shut out and ignored by a broken political system, as so many people here at home still do.... I’m disappointed that John Faso and his allies would stoop this low to use stereotypes and lies. ... I call on John Faso to immediately disavow these divisive attacks.” Rabbi Yael Romer, Congregation Emanuel of the Hudson Valley, in Kingston, said the principles of the letter addressed to Faso should extend to the outside PAC. “I find it reprehensible that any group would use this kind of tactic in an attempt to elect a candidate,” she said. Faso's campaign did not respond to the newspaper's request for comment. Read the full story in the Times Herald-Record.