Rudy Blasts Back: FIrefighters Are "Partisan"

Ex-NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani's campaign blasted back at the nation's largest firefighting union today, e-mailing reporters a quote from a firefighter who calls the IAFF's criticism of Giuliani "unfortunate" and "not surprising" for "union bosses."

Here's the statement from Lee Ielpi, who served on Manhattan's Ladder 2.

“It’s unfortunate but not surprising that the IAFF union bosses have once again taken the low road in a move clearly out of step with their membership. In 2008, I expect these same union bosses to endorse Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama or John Edwards, so today’s comments are just a first step in that process. Fortunately, rank and file firefighters know the difference between politics and leadership.”

The IAFF plans to release a web documentary video today at 5:00pm

The campaign also e-mailed reporters a research document showing the IAFF's ties to the Democratic Party. It's unusual for Rudy's campaign to respond to attacks in this vein; it means that the IAFF"s criticism is taken seriously (and personally).

The IAFF is a labor union, and it leans D. But it's also among the more independent unions in the country, regularly hosting briefings with top Republican leaders and endorsing GOP candidates. Several Republicans attended its presidential forum earlier this year One of the two unions that produced today's video endorsed Pres. Bush in 2004.