|NYS Sen. Carlucci|
A telephone "push poll" unfairly slamming the legislative record and progressive stance of State Senator David Carlucci is making its rounds in Rockland and Orange Counties. The so-called poll comes from an anonymous source, and the pollsters flippantly misidentify themselves when pressed by residents they reach.
Eleven concerned Rockland County residents, all Democratic Commitee members, contacted Left of the Hudson today to complain about the poll, and several others have responded to an email query sent out by us this afternoon. Several recipients that asked the pollsters who they worked for were told the survey came from either National Research or "Central Research." The former is a popular political polling service, the latter name is believed by some to be a front for WPA Opinion Research.
According to several sources who were called, the poll begins with a live questioner asking respondents if they're satisfied with the direction New York is heading. If they answer "yes," the are promptly thanked for their time, if they answer "no," they're lead into a diatribe masquerading as a poll, which faults Carlucci for reaching across the aisle and then questions his progressive credentials. Worse yet, two people who have received the poll claim that it smacked of race baiting. They claim that questioner asked them if they it bothered them that Carlucci had turned his back on "the most influential African-American leader the State Senate has ever seen."
Does all this make you sick? Well, it gets worse. Most of those who contacted Left of the Hudson said that their questioners implied that Clarkstown Councilwoman and Democratic National Committee member Stephanie Hausner was running against Carlucci in a primary, and her progressive credentials were praised while Carlucci's record was trashed. Recipients of the calls said they were often asked to weigh Carlucci against Hausner. Ironically, the two are often political allies.
Hausner informed Left of the Hudson she was not aware of the poll.
"I also got a lot of calls today," said Hausner. "I didn't commission the poll, nor have I heard it so I can't speak first hand about the contents of it."
Carlucci's office said it also received complaints from upset constituents.
"We had received about ten calls of Democratic committee members who were downright shocked that another Democrat was considering a primary against David," said Carlucci's Chief of Staff Jay Martin.
"Honestly many of them thought it was a bad joke," continued Martin. "At the end of the day its the same kind of dirty politics that David ran to overcome in the first place. My sense is that its actually coming from outside the district from Brooklyn or Queens because David chose to be independent from the near constant scandals of the current Democratic leadership. If voting for gay marriage, defending a woman's reproductive rights, opposing fracking and bad environmental policy, supporting an extension of the millionaires tax, and a tax cut for the middle class, aren't 'progressive' or Democratic enough for some people, I'm not sure what is."
Several people who were called told Left of the Hudson that they eventually hung up on the so-called pollsters, upset with the line of questioning.
"Whoever commissioned this poll is a scumbag," said one longtime Rockland County Committee member who prefers not to be identified for this article. "All statewide Democratic organizations are suspect and aren't getting a dime from me until we smoke out who was behind this joke."
Another Democratic Committee member, also wishing not to be identified, was perhaps more upset, saying that she places blame directly on New York State Senate minority leader John L. Sampson. "Until Sampson mans up to this or helps us find out who's behind this, he remains my prime suspect."
Yet another call recipient said he found the whole conversation strange.
"She basically accused Carlucci of being a rat-bastard Republican masquerading as a Democrat and insinuated that Hausner was a real Progressive, not like Carlucci.," he said.
"I can't see how any true Democrat can be unhappy with Carlucci," said another poll recipient we spoke to. "For anyone to suggest that he's anything but true to his Democratic values is just dishonest to the core. He's been a godsend to our district and you can't find many people who would disagree," he said.
Not one Rockland County Democrat in contact with Left of the Hudson said that they agreed the opinions of the pollsters. None criticized Carlucci, although our email went to hundreds of Democrats in Rockland County and in the Orange County towns of Tuxedo and Warwick.
Some State Senate Democrats are upset that Carlucci, a freshman Senator, chose to break ranks and join State Senators Jeffery Klein, Dale Valesky, and Diane Savino in the Independent Democratic Conference and not the scandal-plagued minority Democratic Conference. The four State Senators are routinely maligned for the independence being in this conference gives them, although all four are stalwart progressives.