A local attorney of Italian heritage is blasting Republican Congresswoman Claudia Tenney as 'stupid' and a 'disgrace' to the profession after her recent comments about the father of her opponent in next year's election.

After recently telling listeners of Fred Dicker's radio show to 'google' the background of NY-22 challenger Anthony Brindisi's father - Louis Brindisi - USA Today story reported his after sitting down to speak with the first-term incumbent:

While unloading on her Democratic challenger during a Thursday interview with USA TODAY, Tenney, R-New Hartford, N.Y., sought to highlight the “great contrast” between her own father, the late state Supreme Court Justice John R. Tenney, and Brindisi’s father, Louis, who she described as “very heavily involved with the organized crime in Utica for many years, representing them.”

“He fought for law and order and Anthony's father represented some of the worst criminals in our community,” Tenney said, looking at a picture of her father, during a wide-ranging interview in her D.C. office. “You have to question ... some of things that have happened in his family. The voters make that decision. I'm not saying Anthony is part of any of that but that's the family you come from.”

Photo courtesy Anthony Brindisi campaign
Photo courtesy Anthony Brindisi campaign

On the Keeler in the Morning Show Tuesday, callers shared their opinions - some believing her comments were relevant and appropriate, while others expressed outraged, labeling them 'insulting' and out of bounds.

Not only was Uitca Frank Policelli offended as an Italian American, he said, but also baffled at how Tenney - an attorney herself - would make such an allegation.

''It's amazing for me to believe how somebody that stupid could have passed the bar exam. I've tried cases with Lou Brindisi and we represented everybody. For her to make those kind of comments, that insinuates that criminal defense lawyers aren't for law and order, is a disgrace as a lawyer. She disgraces the bar; She embarrasses me as a lawyer wherever I go in this state and this country because people laugh at her because she's so stupid,'' he said.

''If she said that about any other ethnic group, it would be on the front pages.''

''I don't know what kind of a lawyer she was, but she certainly doesn't understand the basic, ethical tenets of being a lawyer. We represent everybody.''

And, to the specific quote comment that Tenney's father ''fought for law and order and Anthony's father represented some of the worst criminals in our community'',
Policelli sounded off, ''What do you think a defense lawyer is for? And, I gotta be represented in congress by someone that stupid? You don't take on the personality of the client you represent, you are for law and order, okay.''

Here is more caller reaction regarding whether they believed Tenney's comment were relevant, or crossed the line:


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