Westchester attorney proud of ruffling feathers in the race for District Attorney

A few weeks back I had the pleasure of taking part in the Democratic primary debate for Westchester County District Attorney, hosted by News 12 Westchester.  I was one of three seasoned journalists on the panel.  The format allowed journalists to ask a question but not respond when the candidates criticized the question or answered in a way that deserved a follow-up comment or response.  That’s where the political squabble took an interesting turn.  You see, I thought it was interesting that an incumbent District Attorney was not getting the support of the police, local and county, in such an important election.  So it was agreed, among the panelists, that I would ask the D.A. about the soured relations with the front line men and women of law enforcement.

Westchester incumbent D.A. Janet DiFiore

Westchester incumbent D.A. Janet DiFiore

My question to incumbent DA Janet DiFiore asked what she would do to improve relations with the police department since the County PBA had endorsed Republican challenger Dan Schorr.  Ms. DiFiore jumped at me like a vulture at a turkey hunt, claiming I did not know what I was speaking about and I was not allowed to respond.  I have since come to learn that there are two “county” PBAs in Westchester which play off of each other for political reasons with a slight derivation in their names.  There is the PBA of Westchester and there is also the Westchester County PBA.  The first is a fraternal organization and the second represents the active rank and file officers.

I was not wrong, as Ms.  DiFiore had alleged on September 9th because the PBA of Westchester had endorsed Mr. Schorr in June – three months before the primary debate.  More importantly, and subsequent to the debate, the  Westchester County PBA , as I anticipated, also endorsed Mr. Schorr on October 5th.  Most counties have only one PBA; here in Westchester we have two and BOTH have endorsed the Republican challenger for District Attorney. Therefore, no matter how you slice it and no matter how Ms. Di Fiore wants to color it, the black and white of it is that she does not have the support of the county police.

Westchester police support Dan Schorr for D.A.

Westchester police support Dan Schorr for D.A.

It seems Ms. DiFiore and her camp have spent so much time this campaign season calling everyone on alleged misinformation that they haven’t bothered to look in the mirror and review where in fact the D.A. has gone wrong by losing the support of the TWO county PBAs.    In fact, as of today, there is still “misleading” information on Ms. DiFiore’s campaign website, making it appear as though she does have the support of the Westchester County PBA because the Affiliated Police Association of Westchester has endorsed her and one of their member organizations happens to be the Westchester County PBA.  I was looking forward to re-visiting the issue in the upcoming News 12 debate when DiFiore would face off against Schorr.  Unfortunately, I have been “uninvited” to the dance.  I have been told that management at News 12 didn’t want a “blogger” on the air and that certain campaign staffers asked that I not make another appearance.

Hmmm, this “blogger” has probably won more national and international journalism awards than everyone else together on the primary debate panel.  And as a former network news anchor, this journalist was and still is known for impeccable research.  This “blogger” is also admitted to the bar in two states, a federal circuit court and the Supreme Court of the United States.  I guess this “blogger” knows what she’s doing because to be asked not to come back in this case is a distinction I wear proudly.  Free speech is not free if candidates can screen the jury.


12 thoughts on “Westchester attorney proud of ruffling feathers in the race for District Attorney

  1. You nailed her with your question in the last debate and she’s probably humiliated…(and hopefully a bit humbled too)..

    Keep blogging! We want to hear what you have to say…even if Janet doesn’t.


    You rock, Lady Litigator!

  2. Do you think it has something to do with the fact that her spokesliar is a former news 12 colleague?
    And @ Andy, her FACTS do add up, your SPIN is misleading. Like you’re not BIASED?
    Sorry, Buddy, no one falls for your crap here. Go back to that sorry Journal News blog.

    • Thats Ok I respect your opinion, I guess these blogs are 100% for me anyways haha. But what I was just trying to say is that there is support for Janet in the law enforcement community. While there me be some discontent out there I just think the rumors have gone too far but they always seem too anyways, Dan Schorr is certainly running a clean campaign that I respect. But i think at debates the questions should be asked in a direct non biased manor, and yes of course I am biased so I shouldnt be asking the question you’re right. You guys don’t have to support her and I certainly respect your opinions but I am just trying to explain the other side as well.

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  4. Your facts do not add up. DA Janet DiFiore has the support of almost every major police organization across Westchester and even across the State. This includes the NY State and Westchester County Chiefs of Police Association and the NY State Troopers PBA, organizations as important these never make endorsements in a race for District Attorney because they know Janet and the reputation she has built as a Prosecutor and as a Judge. I watched the prevous debate and you clearly were biased going in and did not ask appropriate questions which is why you were probably uninivted. I respect your opinion but Janet overwhelmingly won the support of rank and file Democrats and she does have important Police support.

    • Andy, I appreciate your comments and do not censor here on my blog; however, the facts speak for themselves. She is the Westchester DA and the Westchester County Dept. of Public Safety officers do not support her. I am a Democrat and have been since I was 18. Can she say the same? I did not have to do soul-searching or realign the stars when I opted to choose my party platform. Oh, by the way, choosing sides is what an election is all about or have you forgotten? Usually, however, it’s after a thorough airing of the issues and honest debate and not after the schoolyard name-calling that’s been going on in this race.

      • Thank you for your response I appreciate you not censoring. I too am I lifelong Democrat so we probably agree on most things. I do think she’s been a good DA and I support her, but you’re right about the name calling, but I do think its from both sides as well. I understand your argument about the party switch, however while it was mostly political I do believe that she was a very moderate republican and that the national parties moving to the right did have something though to do with her switch. But your some of your reasoning is valid. And it is good to have involvement and a discussion of the issues.

  5. And yet, when the League of Women voters hosted a debate, Janet DiFiore didn’t even show up debate Dan Schorr. Her arrogance in doing so was extremely insulting to an excellent non-partisan group like the League of Women Voters.

    I can’t figure out if Ms. DiFiore is so totally out of touch with local politics that she doesn’t realize how badly she’s alienated the law enforcement community, or if she’s so arrogant that simply doesn’t care and thinks she should be re-elected despite their vote of no-confidence.

    Given all this, it’s hard for even this longtime Democrat to imagine voting for her. Dan Schorr is looking better and better.

  6. To have a debate with a preferred panel reeks of censorship, just like Mr. Obama’s appearances on selected news channels is juvenile & inappropriate. Apparently, the Democratic Party derides & ridicules what it cannot respond to truthfully. There are, for the Democrats, only one side to a debate–theirs. Everyone else just needs to shut up.

    Welcome to America in the 21st century.

  7. You’ve illuminated a very good point. When it comes to political campaigns – websites, commercials, print ads and the like can say whatever they want to promote their candidate. If the public doesn’t dig deeper they’ll never know that most of it is just PR and false PR at that.

    And yes – you do know what you’re doing – that’s obvious by their excluding you. A sure sign you’re onto something.

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