Campaign volunteer controversy continues

October 26, 2011 2:11:37 PM PDT
Politics on Long Island are getting down and dirty.

Election Day is just two and a half weeks away.

One legislative campaign says it's the victim of racist hate from an opponent's campaign worker.

"Nobody intimidates me! I'm too big, black and beautiful for that," said Diana Coleman, Nassau County Voter Education Committee.

The supporters of democratic legislator candidate Carrie Solages in Nassau County brought their point home with flair.

It all started last week, after a campaign volunteer for Solages' opponent, John Ciotti, was insistent upon posting a sign for him at Solages' headquarters.

He was insistent; he flipped the finger at Solages' sister and then made racist comments as she rolled her camera.

"Put them at the back of the bus where they belong," the campaign worker said on the tape.

Well now Solages' camp is fighting back, drawing support from New York City and state lawmakers.

"Intimidation will not be accepted. We will make sure that we will stand up and fight, in any community," said State Senator John Sampson, (D) Minority Leader.

Democrats in Nassau County insist that they have every reason to be concerned about a practice they claim, has gone on for years.

"My own family was intimidated. 'How dare you?' They said, 'how dare you run against us, we control the system,'" said Patrick Nicolosi, a former candidate.

At least two volunteers for Solages told Eyewitness News that this past Sunday.

They were fixing a sign outside a house when two men in a maroon car approached them.

"And then I said, 'Well, what seems to be the problem, we're just straightening out the sign?' and then they said, 'Well, you'll find out'. (Did you take that as a threat?) Well it could be a threat, you know? We just walked away after that. (But that wasn't good enough?) No, because then, after that, I seen them following me home," said Joe Morris, a Solages volunteer.

In fairness, we also found signs for John Ciotti that were down Wednesday and Ciotti has now fired the volunteer in the video.

Still, its impact has people talking and no doubt watching more closely as Election Day approaches.