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Astorino Gets a Challenger From His Right

Kurt Colucci announces he is running for Westchester County Executive. He and incumbent Rob Astorino exchange words on Nazi-themed Facebook posts by Colucci's father.

A New Rochelle man who has devoted his time to helping the Tea Party movement has entered the race for Westchester County Executive, arguing that incumbent Rob Astorino has not done enough on taxes and spending.

Kurt Colucci, 36, announced his campaign at a Friday press conference in White Plains, at the entrance for the office for the Westchester County Board of Elections. He is seeking the Conservative Party ballot line, he told reporters, but not the Republican line. Colucci added that he may also seek the line for the Independence Party. After the press conference, he went into the office to file his paperwork.

Colucci, who said he is a project manager for a mechanical engineering company in the area, is particularly concerned with taxes, likening today's relationship with the people and the government over taxation to slavery. Supporting his beliefs, Colucci wrote his own book, called A Taxslaves Manifesto.

“He promises to stop the tax madness and there's still tax madness," he said about Astorino, a Mount Pleasant Republican who has been vocal about his intention to keep property taxes from escalating.

Colucci, who described himself to the press as a "conservative libertarian," said that he has been involved with area's Tea Party movement, and supported Astorino in his last election in 2009.

Colucci also feels that Astorino has not stood up enough to the state government, which the current county executive has berated for passing along unfunded mandate costs, such as employee pension obligations. Asked about his approach to governance, Colucci stressed that he would have a dialogue on the issue. He also cited his experience in negotiating with people on behalf of his employer as something that can help in politics.

Astorino's campaign sent out a press release blasting Colucci, and distributed screen shots of his father's Facebook page, which has images posted that liken Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to Nazis.

"Serious candidates for public office must reject the politics of extremism, and for Mr. Colucci that includes the deplorable imagery and language being promulgated by his father online," stated spokeswoman Jessica Proud. She added, "Until that is done, we will not dignify Mr. Colucci's candidacy with a comment. There is no room in Westchester County for this type of hatred."

Colucci, speaking with Patch, said: "They're just trying to make a story where there is none." He noted that his father's opinions are not his own.

Astorino, elected in 2009 by defeating longtime Democratic incumbent Andrew Spano, is up for re-election this November. Aside from Colucci, who intends to make a primary challenge for the Conservative line, three Democrats have announced their own bids. They are county Board of Legislators Chairman Kenneth Jenkins (D-Yonkers), county Legislator Bill Ryan (D-White Plains) and New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson.

Bob Fois February 22, 2013 at 09:01 PM
This guy is neither an active Tea Party volunteer nor has he ever been involved in the Conservative Party. He also was never around to help Rob Astorino in 2009. And did I hear him right that he doesn't want to be County Executive? Well, why the gosh darn are you running, sonny?
Mount Vernon February 22, 2013 at 09:58 PM
You would think Astorino would be the last guy to point to the behavior of a candidate's father... glass houses or so the saying goes.
Ross Revira February 22, 2013 at 10:18 PM
I smell a rat. Is Gail Burns close by?
JM February 22, 2013 at 10:36 PM
Ok, so - so far not impressed. New book comes out soon (vanity press again?) Illusions of Liberty. I'm not perfect in typing nowadays online either but if I was running for high office, I'd certainly pay closer attention to my own ''twit'' account. Everything he is saying seems to be extremist. I voted for Astornio too, I am not pleased with him, but now will simply turn my attention to the Dems. See what they have to say. If I don't like their m.o., well, Astornio gets my vote again.
JM February 22, 2013 at 10:41 PM
lol. This is rather funny. Just checked out his other ''social media'' i.d.s and he deleted things in preparation for the announcement. Maybe that is acceptable for 30 somethings.... oh well. It isn't for me. Be a man.
D. O'neill February 23, 2013 at 12:02 AM
Rob Astorino's father is actively involved in his campaign and those who know Rob and his family know that Rob Sr. is a convicted con man who went to jail for shaking down drug dealers. His son, learned from his father and now he's shaking down the people of Westchester. Im suprised Rob would open the door to mention his dad the Felon.
EE Green February 23, 2013 at 02:25 AM
has anyone wondered why there is a stock photo of a Nazi rally connected to this article. That is simply outrageous.
Vincent Grolli February 23, 2013 at 02:49 AM
What planet did this guy Colucci come from? HE STATED THAT ROB ASTORINO has not done enough about taxes and spending. Is he joking? Under Mr. Astorino"s leadership county property tax has not been raised, and in some cases were lowered.
Tom Murphy February 23, 2013 at 05:05 AM
Listen if this kook was still supporting Astorino there is no question that Astorino would welcome the support. After all did Astorino turn down his support in 2009? Of course not. Colucci is off the same nut tree as Astorino, he just fell from a different branch. They are radical extremists who don't understand government and want government to serve only the interests of the rich and corporations. I am also not yet convinced that the sudden emergence of Colucci isn't just a manipulative game played by Bill O'Reilly, ( no not that idiot, the other buffoon) Astorino's campaign manager, to make Astorino appear more moderate by giving him opposition from a total wingnut. But at the end of the day both men stand for the same thing,dismantling government. Astorino just does it with his altorboy smile. Let's not get fooled again.
Ross Revira February 23, 2013 at 09:30 AM
If paying for a government that the average taxpayer can afford is considered radical and extreme then society is really in trouble. Tom you exemplify the meaning of the nuts running the asylum. Go back to the bottle where you belong.
Tom Murphy February 23, 2013 at 11:20 AM
Ross how expected of you to introduce racial stereotypes into a political discussion. I wonder if Astorino will disavow your blatantly racist Irish stereotype. But your party has always been about dividing us by race. Paying your taxes is a patriotic duty Ross or is your flag next to your name just for ornamentation? I don't mind paying taxes Ross with them I buy a civilized society.
frank vecchione February 23, 2013 at 12:01 PM
although i am sympathetic to the tea party and the cause, rob has done a great job , even though he is surrounded by the worst county legislators in history. now is not the time to challenge him from the right. if colucci would drop out , and take up another cause , and there are plenty of them, that would be great. be a patriot !
Alison Pinsley February 23, 2013 at 12:38 PM
Never heard of him.
Ross Revira February 23, 2013 at 01:39 PM
Your description of Rob Astorino as a " radical extremist" is the only thing that makes you seem drunk. Do you have a self image problem? Paying taxes is the responsabilty of a good citizen. Wasting tax money seems to be the responsability of the Democrat leadership in Westchester. Could this be why Westchester has the highest taxes in the nation?
Francis T McVetty February 23, 2013 at 03:33 PM
[ which has images posted that liken Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to Nazis.] you can't argue with that. They are acting like that. Maybe they should be called Marxists or Communists instead?
Francis T McVetty February 23, 2013 at 03:36 PM
Tom, must be nice to have a government job, isn't it?
Francis T McVetty February 23, 2013 at 03:37 PM
Tom, again you should your true colors. You CAN'T buy a civilized society!!!
Mount Vernon February 23, 2013 at 04:08 PM
"Serious candidates for public office must reject the politics of extremism, and for Mr. Colucci that includes the deplorable imagery and language being promulgated by his father online," stated spokeswoman Jessica Proud. Astorino needs to share the skeletons in his own closet with his hired gun spokespeople who apparently were derelict in their duty in researching their own golden boy client and his pops... who was found guilty of real crimes much worse than likening a liberal governor to a dead dictator. So does Rob agree with the tactics used by Cuomo to push his rights smothering 2nd Amendment gun control legislation? Not to mention his immediately getting in bed with old time establishment favorite, attorney Kevin Plunkett. I bet all republican reformers who backed Rob were really Proud of that move.
RyeDad February 23, 2013 at 04:23 PM
I voted for Astorino last time but there is no way I would ever vote for this guy again. The #1 reason I will never vote for him again is he picked Kevin Plunkett to be his assistant. Under Plunkett's watch, legal fees in Rye, Mamaroneck, Dobbs Ferry and other communities skyrocketed and most of the money went to him and or whatever law firm he happened to be working for at that time. I believe the most damage to Plunkett's reputation came in the inhumane and immoral way Plunkett treated decorated WWII hero Rye resident Robert Schubert. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JXoSway7uo I see that the County and Plunkett have now hired long time Rye labor attorney Vincent Toomey. I wonder if it was a coincidence that one of the first layoffs the County did in December was to layoff the President of the CSEA? I wonder what law firms are getting the bulk of the legal work from the county now that Plunkett is there and what, if any, past, current or future financial connection Plunkett may have to any of these law firms. Does Plunkett now have a hand (personally and professionally) in how the County is ignoring health issues on Hen Island?
Regina Smiley February 23, 2013 at 05:41 PM
SAVE PLAYLAND! SEND A MESSAGE TO ASTORINO THAT HE CANNOT DISPOSE OF PLAYLAND TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER, SIGN THE PETITION NOW! https://www.change.org/petitions/save-playland-amusement-park
Ross Revira February 23, 2013 at 06:03 PM
Are you that Rye activisit who dresses up in the "human turd" costume?
McKey Rivers February 23, 2013 at 06:39 PM
I have no dog in this fight but D. O'neil claim above that Robert Astorino Sr. is a "convicted con man who went to jail for shaking down drug dealers" is not completely accurate. Mr. Astorino Sr. was one of a group of three members of the Mt. Vernon Police Department arrested in May 1994 for stealing a total of $10,000 of federal money in connection with an "elaborate" FBI sting operation as part of an overall investigation of the MVPD. He pled guilty to the crime in July 1994. http://www.nytimes.com/1994/05/11/nyregion/3-officers-are-arrested-and-charged-with-graft.html
RyeDad February 23, 2013 at 07:04 PM
No.
Mount Vernon February 23, 2013 at 07:20 PM
And to think Astorino's communications experts from NLO, "O" as in William F.B. O'Reilly, started this food fight... how stupid can you be? In a rush to bloody up a true neophyte challenger, that nobody ever heard of, through actions of his farther no less they stepped in a pile of you-know-what that their own candidate's pops left there. I'd say Kid Colucci wins this round, and he didn't even have to do anything. Jessica Proud and F.B. O'Reilly did it for him. With press agents like them who needs super pacs? Note to FB: Drop the father attack. From the 1994 NY Times article above: "Meanwhile, Federal agents had rented an apartment at 30 East Fourth Street in Mount Vernon and planted a blue gym bag containing $31,846 in the bedroom closet. By the time the three officers arrived with a search warrant on May 6, Federal investigators were monitoring the apartment with a video camera from across the street. During the raid, Detective Garcia was observed holding the gym bag and then leaving the bedroom with cash that he stuffed into his vest, Federal authorities said. Then, he handed cash to Lieutenant Astorino, who in turn placed it in his jacket pocket, they said." Bill F. B. O'Reilly currently is a partner and executive vice president at NLO Strategies. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_F._B._O'Reilly
Bob Zahm February 23, 2013 at 08:21 PM
Entertaining, Regina, that you think awarding a contract to operate Playland is a disposal. Are you by any chance one of Boss Jenkens' supporters? Astorino's actually trying to bring county spending (and taxes) under control.
Regina Smiley February 23, 2013 at 09:38 PM
No, Mr. Zahm, I am a long time resident of Westchester County and don't want to see Playland's footprint reduced by half and 30% of the rides gone. I love Playland and I am a big fan of the world renowned Kentucky Derby and other vintage rides. Astorino told me years ago that the biggest mistake Westchester made was to allow the union workers in and that he could not wait to get rid of it and called it a money pit. He does not care about saving it, he made that crystal clear. This park could be awarded to another company who would keep it as is, but it seems that the Sustainable Playland company is Astorino's first choice - the company that would destroy it. If you had actually read the petition from Change.org, you would know the facts and not be so quick to judge.
John Fitzgerald February 24, 2013 at 02:52 AM
So why is posting pics of Nanny Bloomberg and Andio Cuomo as Nazis hateful? Because Astorino approves of gun grabbing and baby killing? What a public relations nightmare for good old Ned McCormack, fresh off the Westhelp Fiasco.
Joe Malichio February 25, 2013 at 05:17 PM
Joe Malichio 12:15 pm on Monday, February 25, 2013 And what nut tree are you from, Tom? The one that thinks that Andy Spano overseeing 500 MILLION in spending increases over his 12 years was nothing to quip about? Earth to Tom: we live in the most expensive county in the country. That is the biggest problem we have. End of story. Government only serves the rich and the corporations? Who do you think pays the county's despicable tax bills? Guys like you? What an embarrassing post. You should hide your name next time. Astorino isn't looking to dismantle county government... but... since you mentioned it....... maybe we don't need a county government? Many counties around the country survive without a county government. Look at Fairfield County. They do just fine... and will lure me and my tax $ there soon enough.
Lanning Taliaferro (Editor) February 25, 2013 at 05:37 PM
Hi, that was not a stock photo, it was a screengrab of the controversial Facebook post. We have removed it due to complaints.

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