BP Molinaro Rejects Candidate Luisi's Challenge to Debate After Accepting Hundreds of Thousands in Campaign Finance Board Funds.

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Candidate John Luisi is frustrated as incumbent Molinaro refuses to debate him in a public forum. Most frustrating is Molinaro's reluctance to disclose where he spent millions in public discretionary funds in the last few years in office.

Why should I debate you? I don't have to debate you

Candidate for Borough President John Luisi (Democrat and Working Families) challenged the incumbent, James Molinaro (Conservative), to a public debate at the close of the night's public candidate forum at the Pleasant Plains Civic Association, but Molinaro steadfastly refused. "Why should I debate you? I don't have to debate you," Molinaro snapped back. "Because the people of Staten Island are entitled to hear what the candidates for public office stand for," responded Luisi, "especially after receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax-payer money from the Campaign Finance Board."

Enthusiastic applause ensued as Luisi cited that it is every candidates moral obligation to be as approachable as possible. "Our founding fathers would be embarrassed at this refusal, and the voters should loudly voice their disapproval on November 3rd," said Luisi.

Molinaro countered that the public knows where he stands from the debate four years ago. "Sadly, your right, Mr. Borough President - very little has changed since that debate," responded Mr. Luisi.

Throughout the campaign Luisi has questioned why the Borough President refuses to discuss issues, and why the Borough President refuses to disclose where he spent millions of dollars in discretionary public funds. "The people have a right to know. This is unacceptable," said Luisi as Molinaro tried to retreat.

Molinaro received almost $200,000 in taxpayer funding from the campaign finance board last week. In 2005, the current Borough President was thrashed by John Luisi at a packed house at the Hilton Garden inn over his discretionary spending, failure to: redevelop the homeport, reestablish passenger service on the North Shore Rail and lack of a South Shore Ferry. All of these issues are still without significant progress four years later.    

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ROBERT DIMILIA

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