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Giuliani Campaign Press Release - IAFF's Misleading Partisan Attacks

January 23, 2008

With Its Partisan History, It's No Surprise IAFF Has Been Caught By Media Misleading About Mayor Giuliani's Record Of Strong Support For Firefighters And Extensive Efforts To Prepare NYC For All Emergencies


IAFF Endorsed Dukakis In 1988. ("Firefighters' Union Endorses Dukakis," The Associated Press, 8/2/88)

IAFF Endorsed Clinton-Gore In 1992 And 1996. (IAFF, "America's Fire Fighters Endorse Clinton-Gore," Press Release, 8/7/92; IAFF, "Fire Fighters Endorse Clinton-Gore," Press Release, 8/23/96)

IAFF Endorsed Gore In 2000. (IAFF, "Fire Fighters Endorse Gore For President," Press Release, 1/21/99)

In 2004, "IAFF Was The First Labor Union To Endorse Democrat John Kerry's Race For The President, And Its President Was At Kerry's Side Through Much Of The Campaign." (Fox News' "Special Report," 3/8/07)

IAFF Did Not Poll Its Members Before Making Kerry Endorsement. "'I think the thing that really teed off a lot of firefighters was that nobody was polled about that,' said David Powell, a nonunion member who serves as chief of the all-volunteer Reedley Fire Department. 'The members were not asked about it.'" (Michael Doyle, "Union's Support Ignites Firefight," Fresno Bee, 8/8/04)

IAFF Endorsed Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) For 2008. (IAFF, "Fire Fighters Endorse Sen. Chris Dodd, Prepare Early-State Blitz," Press Release, 8/29/07)


The New York Times Said Video Was "At Times Factually Questionable" And "Some Of The Conclusions In The 13-Minute Video Can Be Debated." (Marc Santora, "Video By Firefighters' Union Urges Opposition To Giuliani," The New York Times, 7/12/07)

Times Also Noted Video Mislead On Communications Failures And Touts "Widely Dismissed" Gold Conspiracy. "Some of the video's assertions are at the very least subject to debate. There is no dispute, for instance, that there were communications failures on Sept. 11. But the video highlights the hand-held radios, whereas the central problem, most experts agree, was the failure of a device meant to boost the signal so that it could reach the high floors of the towers. The video also implies that Mr. Giuliani was more concerned about securing some $200 million in gold stored in a basement vault at the World Trade Center than in recovering the remains of the dead, an accusation widely dismissed by people who closely monitored the cleanup." (Marc Santora, "Video By Firefighters' Union Urges Opposition To Giuliani," The New York Times, 7/12/07)

The New York Post Said IAFF's "Shamelessly Mendacious" Video "Resorts To Deceitful Political Stunts." "When a firefighters' union resorts to deceitful political stunts, it squanders the respect and credibility its members have sacrificed so much to earn. Which is why firefighters, more than anyone, ought to be livid over their national union's shamelessly mendacious new video skewering former Mayor Rudy Giuliani for his handling of the attack on the World Trade Center." (Editorial, "Union's Rudy Smear," The New York Post, 7/15/07)

Post Said Union Has No Excuse For "Blatant Lies In The Video." "New York's Bravest, and their leaders, have also had differences with Giuliani on a host of non-9/11 issues … But none of this excuses the blatant lies in the video released last week by the International Association of Fire Fighters. The flick all but holds Rudy responsible for the attacks themselves." (Editorial, "Union's Rudy Smear," The New York Post, 7/15/07)

Post Called Video's Claims "Vicious Falsehoods" And Former FDNY Firefighter Who Lost Son On 9/11 Called It "Disgrace." "What's the union's beef, specifically? It calls the idea that Giuliani provided leadership during the crisis an 'urban legend.' And says because of him, firefighters' radios didn't work and human remains were left in the debris. These are vicious falsehoods, of course. Which is why Lee Ielpi, a former firefighter whose son died in the attack, and former Office of Emergency Management Commissioner Richard Sheirer, called the film a 'disgrace.' 'I was there. I saw it,' said Ielpi, who worked at the cleanup at Ground Zero. 'I'm not going to let lies like this go.'" (Editorial, "Union's Rudy Smear," The New York Post, 7/15/07)

Post Credited Mayor Giuliani For Turning Around New York And Preparing It To "Withstand The Attack … And Spring Back Quickly." "Here's the bottom line: On 9/11, New York was a safe, secure, well-run place – one that had been turned around, miraculously, from the chaotic, virtually lawless climate that prevailed before Giuliani took office. Indeed, the restoration of order and renewed investment in the city helped Gotham withstand the attack in 2001 and spring back quickly." (Editorial, "Union's Rudy Smear," The New York Post, 7/15/07)

Post: "Giuliani Deserves Every Bit Of Praise For His Leadership" On And After Day Of Attacks. "Meanwhile, Giuliani deserves every bit of praise for his leadership in the weeks after the attack. Not just for conveying confidence and calm, but also for assuring a smooth continuation of city government, despite huge obstacles. And, of course, for running the most complex rescue, recovery and clean-up operation in U.S. history." (Editorial, "Union's Rudy Smear," The New York Post, 7/15/07)

Post Notes IAFF's Partisanship And Calls On Them "To Be Honest." "No one should be surprised that the IAFF is looking to impeach the integrity of a leading Republican presidential candidate. It has a record of supporting Democrats, like John Kerry and Hillary Rodham Clinton. Count on the union's endorsement of a Democrat for president next year. But that's a pathetic reason to distort the truth and rewrite the facts about a sacred period in U.S. history. IAFF leaders owe it to their fallen brothers at least to be honest about that awful day." (Editorial, "Union's Rudy Smear," The New York Post, 7/15/07) Said "The Union … Is Running A Misleading Video Blaming Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani …" (Brooks Jackson, et al, "Firefighters Vs. Giuliani," Annenberg Political Fact Check,, 7/18/07)

Annenberg Political Fact Check Said Union "Goes Too Far" With Video Claim On Radio Communications. "[T]he video goes too far when it implies that bad radio communication was the only reason that 121 firefighters failed to clear the North Tower of the Trade Center after the first tower collapsed. To the contrary, the 9/11 Commission stated in its final report that the technical failure of fire department radios 'was not the primary cause of the many firefighter fatalities in the North Tower.'" (Brooks Jackson, et al, "Firefighters Vs. Giuliani," Annenberg Political Fact Check,, 7/18/07)

Fact Check: "[T]he Union Plays Loose With The Facts When It Proceeds To Blame Faulty Radios For The Deaths Of All The Firefighters Who Died In The North Tower." (Brooks Jackson, et al, "Firefighters Vs. Giuliani," Annenberg Political Fact Check,, 7/18/07)

Fact Check Noted Many "Firefighters Did Hear The Orders On Their Radios." "Nobody can say how many firefighters in the North Tower received the evacuation order and how many didn't. But, contrary to the impression left by the video, a number of firefighters did hear the orders on their radios. According to the 9/11 Commission, 'at least 24 of the at most 32 companies who were dispatched to and actually in the North Tower received the evacuation instruction – either via radio or directly from other first responders.'" (Brooks Jackson, et al, "Firefighters Vs. Giuliani," Annenberg Political Fact Check,, 7/18/07)

Fact Check Also Said Video Was "Misleading" In Several Other Allegations. "Other aspects of the video are misleading, including: an allegation that Giuliani 'blamed the victims' for not following evacuation orders, when his comments were in response to a question about heroism on 9/11; a statement that Giuliani pulled firefighters off recovery efforts, when he had reduced, not eliminated, the number of workers; a claim that Giuliani had protesting firefighters arrested, when arrests were minimal and most charges were dropped, as requested by the mayor." (Brooks Jackson, et al, "Firefighters Vs. Giuliani," Annenberg Political Fact Check,, 7/18/07)

Fact Check Debunked Claim That Mayor Giuliani Arrested Firefighters Involved In Recovery Efforts. "The video also states that when firefighters protested the move, 'Giuliani had them arrested.' This is false. When New York City firefighters staged a protest on Nov. 3, 2001, only 18 people were arrested, according to news reports, and not by mayoral decree. In fact, about a week later, Giuliani announced that the city would drop the harassment and criminal trespass charges against 17 of the protesters. One man was charged with assault for allegedly hitting a police officer. That charge was not dropped." (Brooks Jackson, et al, "Firefighters Vs. Giuliani," Annenberg Political Fact Check,, 7/18/07)

Fact Check Agreed With Giuliani Campaign That IAFF Has Partisan Bias. "Giuliani brushed off the video as a partisan smear. … Giuliani has a point here. In fact, records show the IAFF leans heavily Democratic. The union endorsed Democratic candidates Al Gore and John Kerry for president in 2000 and 2004, respectively. The IAFF's political action committee spending has favored Democrats by nearly 4 to 1 during each of the past two election cycles." (Brooks Jackson, et al, "Firefighters Vs. Giuliani," Annenberg Political Fact Check,, 7/18/07)


Giuliani Secured $10 Million Of Bunker Gear For All Firefighters At Same Time Mayor Was Cutting The City's Budget. After a terrible fire killed two firefighters shortly after he took office, Mayor Giuliani directed the FDNY to purchase and outfit every firefighter with new, state-of the-art protective bunker gear. By the end of his first year in office, the City had distributed 11,300 sets of bunker gear at a cost of approximately $10 million. The new bunker gear resulted in a decrease of burn injuries by nearly 60% between 1994 and 1996. (Norimitsu Onishi, "A Bittersweet Graduation As Fallen Firefighters Are Mourned," The New York Times, 4/1/94; FDNY, "With New York Firefighters," 4th Issue, 2001, p. 16; Alison Mitchell, "Mayor's Bet: Safety Carries More Weight With Public," The New York Times, 5/11/94)

The New Bunker Gear Helped Reduce Medical Leave Time From 9.7% In The Last Six Months Of 1993 To 7.6% In The Last Six Months Of 1994. (Julio Laboy, "Sharp Drop In Overtime At Fire Dept.," Newsday, 1/8/95)

Giuliani's FDNY Provided Faster Relief And Health Support For Units Fire Scenes. To reduce heat stress at the fire scene, FDNY provided relief units faster than had previously been done. Recuperation and Care units, equipped with ice, water, fruit drinks, cold towels and misting fans to provide relief and hydration at the fire scene, responded to numerous fires. (FDNY, "With New York Firefighters," 4th Issue, 2001, p. 17)

Giuliani Secured Purchase Of Thermal-Imaging Cameras For FDNY, Giving Firefighters Additional Abilities To "See" Fires Behind Walls And Locate Victims. Giuliani Administration purchased thermal-imaging cameras for all FDNY Ladder Companies, allowing firefighters to see into smoke-filled spaces, locate victims more quickly, and detect hidden pockets of fires in walls and ceilings. (Mayor's State of the City Address, Jan 13, 2000; FDNY, "With New York Firefighters," 4th Issue, 2001, p. 9)

Giuliani's FDNY Purchased Personal Alarms For All Firefighters, Aiding In Search And Rescue Of Downed Firefighters. In 1998, FDNY purchased Personal Alert Safety System (PASS) alarms for all firefighters to assist in the search and rescue of immobile/unconscious firefighters. The PASS alarms are integrated with the self-contained breathing apparatus, activating the alarm any time the air pack was in use so that firefighters no longer had to worry about activating their PASS in the middle of a fire response. (FDNY, "With New York Firefighters," 4th Issue, 2001, p. 17)

Giuliani And FDNY Increased The Frequency Of Medical Exams For Firefighters From Once Every Three Years To Once Every 15 Months. The new exams, tailored to the unique risk factors that firefighters face, are much more comprehensive and thorough. (FDNY, "With New York Firefighters," 4th Issue, 2001, p. 18)


Mayor Giuliani Significantly Increased Funding For FDNY Over His Eight Years In Office. Capital spending for the Fire Department under the Giuliani administration rose to an average of $120 million a year for eight years. This was a substantial increase over the $21 million a year for four years spent by the previous administration. (FDNY, "With New York Firefighters," 4th Issue, 2001, Pg 25)

FDNY Updated The Aging EMS Ambulance Fleet By Contracting For 400 New Ambulances Over A Five-Year Period. (FDNY, "With New York Firefighters," 4th Issue, 2001, p. 29 )

Mayor Giuliani Funded A $44 Million Renovation Of The Fire Academy On Randall's Island, Including A Car Simulator And Burn Building, Turning The Academy Into The Premier Fire Training Facility In The Country. (FDNY, "With New York Firefighters," 4th Issue, 2001, pp. 14-15)


Giuliani's FDNY Established Special Operations Command Battalion To Oversee Role Of Specialized Units At Emergency Scenes. FDNY established the Special Operations Command Battalion in 1998 to oversee the role of specialized units at incidents concerning hazardous materials, chemical/biological threats, confined space operations and high-angle rope rescue. The Special Operations Command Battalion is responsible for five Rescue Companies, seven Squad Companies, three Marine Units, and one Haz-Mat unit, as well as the Tactical Support, De-Watering, De-Con, and Recuperation and Care (RAC) units. (FDNY, "With New York Firefighters," 4th Issue, 2001, p. 9)

FDNY Increased Number Of Specially-Trained "Squad Companies" From Two To Seven During Giuliani's Term As Mayor. In 1998, FDNY designated five Engine Companies as Squad Companies, bringing the total number of squads under the Special Operations Command to seven. The Squad Companies, which had to undergo special training, can go into action as either an Engine or Ladder Company, and received intensive training in Ladder Company operations, Haz-Mat mitigation and decontamination procedures, as well as a variety of rescue skills. (FDNY, "With New York Firefighters," 4th Issue, 2001, p. 9)

Giuliani's FDNY Created Auxiliary Rescue Craft Which Aided In Numerous Water Rescues. Mayor Giuliani and the FDNY created and placed Auxiliary Rescue Craft in service within the Marine Division in 1996. These two firefighting/rescue boats patrol the waterways between May and October, and immediately accounted for many water rescues, which resulted in more craft being ordered by the FDNY. (FDNY, "With New York Firefighters," 4th Issue, 2001, p. 9)

Under Mayor Giuliani, The FDNY Increased Staffing From Four To Five Firefighters In 60 Engine Companies. (FDNY, "With New York Firefighters," 4th Issue, 2001, p. 10)

During Mayor Giuliani's Tenure, One New Division And Two New Companies Were Added. Engine Company 294 in Richmond Hill/Woodhaven, Queens was reopened; Ladder Company 133 in South Jamaica/St. Albans, Queens was established; and Division 13 in southeast Queens was established. (FDNY, "With New York Firefighters," 4th Issue, 2001, p. 9; Office Of Mayor Giuliani, Press Release, 1/31/97)


Safety Expert: "New York City Is The Cadillac Of Preparedness." "'New York City is the Cadillac of preparedness. On a scale of one to 10, I'd give them a 9.5,' [Michael Wermuth, senior policy analyst at RAND Corp.] said. Firefighters and police were on the scene of the Sept. 11 attack within minutes. The evacuation of the scene was about as orderly as could be expected." (Charles Oliver, "Be Prepared – New York Was, But How Will Other Cities Cope?" Investor's Business Daily, 9/25/01)

Giuliani Created The Office Of Emergency Management In 1996 To Prepare City For Disasters. "In a bid to improve the city's disaster planning and response, Mayor Giuliani [1/16/96] created a new Office of Emergency Management with a … director. The department … will help coordinate the response of the Police and Fire departments, Emergency Medical Service and other agencies to disasters ranging from major fires to blizzards and terrorist threats." (David L. Lewis, "Rudy Taps Crisis Chief," Daily News, 1/17/96)

"[Giuliani] Said Tragedies Like The 1993 Terrorist Bombing Of The World Trade Center And Last Year's Poison Gas Attack In The Tokyo Subway System Demonstrated The Need To Prepare For Increasingly Difficult Disasters." (David L. Lewis, "Rudy Taps Crisis Chief," Daily News, 1/17/96)

And Specifically Focused On Preparing City For Terrorist Attacks

"Experts Say New York … Is Ahead Of The Nation In Preparing For 21st Century Terror" ("Is New York City Ready For Unconventional Terror?" The Associated Press, 5/3/99)

Giuliani's OEM Performed Anti-Terrorism Exercises. Giuliani: "We try every day every month every year to improve and we — we're doing more about the possibility of attack than we've ever done before. I've established a couple of years ago an office of emergency management which the city never had before … They have gone through table top exercises, actual drills. We've worked with the Defense Department — worked with foreign agencies. We're trying to improve everyday our ability to react and to detect and we have – - I think the only joint anti-terrorism force in the country where the police and the FBI agents work together as partners to try to sift through this information." (Fox News' "Hannity & Colmes," 2/19/98)

Prior To 9/11, City Staged Terror Drills To Test Emergency Response. "Emergency strike teams of cops, firefighters, doctors, surgeons and federal agents recently staged a series of terror drills from Tribeca to Kennedy Airport to gauge the city's readiness." ("Rudy: Feds Didn't Tell Us," Daily News, 2/20/98)

Rudy Giuliani, Giuliani Campaign Press Release - IAFF's Misleading Partisan Attacks Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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