Firefighter's Union Hoses Down Giuliani
Union Counts 280,000 Members

POSTED: 4:20 pm EDT July 11, 2007
UPDATED: 4:32 pm EDT July 11, 2007

The International Association of Fire Fighters produced the 13-minute video and is distributing it to its 280,000 members, to the media and online.

Giuliani's campaigned quickly fired back, calling the group the International Association of Partisan Politics, pointing to its history of supporting Democratic candidates for the presidency.
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Many firefighters have a history of animosity toward Giuliani, a leading Republican presidential candidate.

They argued that Giuliani's administration failed to provide adequate radios for first responders at the World Trade Center. And they said they remain angry at his decision to speed removal of the enormous pile of rubble at ground zero, cutting back the size of the group searching for remains.

"He's not a leader. He is running on 9/11, and it's all a fallacy," Jim Riches, the father of a Sept. 11 victim and a deputy New York fire chief, says in the video.

Giuliani's campaign responded that the union leaders don't speak for the rank and file. Late Tuesday, the campaign sent out a three-page summary of Giuliani's history of supporting firefighters.

"Firefighters across the country have no greater friend than Rudy Giuliani," said Howard Safir, who served as fire commissioner and later police commissioner under Giuliani.

"Those of us who have worked with Rudy Giuliani know he has always been a constant supporter of firefighters and first responders," Safir said in a statement issued by the campaign.

The Giuliani campaign posted a quote from retired Fire Department of New York firefighter Lee Ielpi on its Web site Wednesday.