Dems Hold Congressional Fundraiser - Locals Opt Out

Local Democrats withdrew from a national Democratic party fundraiser
for six veterans running for Congress held Sunday night in Amagansett.

The event was advertised with support from members of the East Hampton
Democratic Committee and the East End Vets, a local group who are against
the Iraq war.

But both these groups withdrew after a Democratic party official cancelled
the plan to display panels with photos of fallen US soldiers of the Iraq and
Afghanistan wars. The panels were made by North Fork People of Conscience
of Southold.

The event titled "Democratic Veterans for a Secure America" included Tim
Bishop who represents eastern Long Island in Congress and General Wesley

The host committee, according to the invitation, included New York Senator
Hillary Clinton and Rahm Emanuel of the national Democratic Campaign
Committee as well as members of East Hampton Democratic Committee and
members of the East End Vets.

Joe Giannini of the East End Veterans said he was angry with the organizers.
He said he "thought it was important to stand with the fallen so we can save
lives in the future. We support the veterans who are running but we have a
different strategy."

East Hampton Democratic Party member Michael O'Neill praised Chuck
Hitchcock, the local Democratic Chair, for standing up to the 'bigwhigs'.
O'Neill said "Good Democrats will no longer tolerate any Party big-whigs
cowering in fear of this right wing's implacable attack on dissenters to this
Administration's policies."

O'Neill added, "I think it is a harbinger of what we will see more and more
often as little people start standing up and fighting - demanding leadership
to take back our country."
Congressman Bishop was asked to comment on the withdrawal of the local
Democrats. He replied through an aide that "his focus is to help Democrats
win a majority in the House of Representatives this November."

This report was prepared for WPKN Local News heard Monday-Friday 6:30pm
on 89.5 Bridgeport and 88.7 Montauk.