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Halloran Attacks Meng on Poor Attendance During Debate

By Nigel Chiwaya | October 19, 2012 11:02am

MIDDLE VILLAGE — City Councilman Dan Halloran took a shot at his congressional rival Thursday, challenging Assemblywoman Grace Meng on why she missed so many votes in Albany as she campaigned for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Halloran's jab came at the end of an otherwise calm 6th Congressional District debate in the heated race, which was held Thursday night at Our Lady of Hope School in Middle Village.

"You took an oath, and you took a job to be in Albany. And it's my understanding you missed over 75 percent of the session in Albany as you ran for Congress," Halloran said.

The Republican councilman noted that he missed only 9 percent of votes in City Hall — in spite of May surgery to remove a brain tumor.

"Do you think your attendance record in Albany is inappropriate given that you took on a job and took on a paycheck from the citizens of the state of New York?" Halloran asked his Democratic opponent.

Meng was excused 188 times and cast 59 votes from late March through June 1, according to a June analysis by the Daily News

But she countered that her attendance record prior to running for Congress was more than 92 percent.

"My mother still yells at me for missing sessions because I had such a good attendance record," Meng said.

With less than a month before Election Day, the candidates refrained from attacking each other, instead choosing to spell out their platforms and address misconceptions about themselves.

Halloran, a lifelong Queens resident first elected to the City Council in 2009, sought to dispel the notion that he is hot-headed.

"Yes I'm colorful, and maybe some people don't like me walking into a building that is destroying the quality of life in my neighborhood and cursing out the owner after I tried the nice way," said Halloran, who was caught on video delivering a foul-mouthed tirade to an auto-body shop owner last year.

"But you know what? It's a quieter place now."

Meng, a lawyer and mother of two boys elected to the Assembly in 2008, addressed the notion that she's too nice for Washington.

"Don't mistake my kindness for weakness," Meng said. "If I want something done I'm going to get it done."