Stamford firefighters rap timing of Democratic fundraiser on 9/11

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STAMFORD — The Stamford firefighters union has objected to a city Democratic Party fundraiser on the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The Stamford Advocate reports that Brendan Keatley, president of the Professional Fire Fighters Union, criticized the timing of the fundraiser on Friday. He said it was in “horribly bad taste.”

Democratic City Committee Chairman John Mallozzi said it was difficult to accommodate conflicting schedules and that marking the anniversary and conducting political business are not mutually exclusive.

He said he was initially hesitant about the date and that the union’s reaction may be related to labor relations problems with the city.

Firefighters have been working without a new contract since June 2009.

The Democrats are raising money for candidates for the Board of Education and two other local boards.

Mallozzi told The Advocate that he himself was hesitant about the date at first – and emphasized that the DCC did not mean to conflate the anniversary and the fundraiser. With two major Jewish holidays on the horizon and the Nov. 3 election approaching fast, he added that guests’ schedules are tighter than usual.

“We can be sensitive to the fact that it was then, we pay homage to it … we are going to recognize the fact that it was a tragic part of our history and we’re not going to make a big deal of the fundraiser,” Mallozzi told the Advocate. “This reaction from that may be a little related to some other problems that they’re having with the mayor that have nothing to do with it.”