A city council candidate in New York is “flabbergasted” that he’s forbidden from wearing an American flag lapel pin in his photo for the city’s voter guide.
Joseph Concannon, a Reform Party candidate in Queens, told the New York Daily News that the New York City Campaign Finance Board’s policy is outrageous.
“This is the United States of America, not some banana republic. What’s the problem with wearing the flag?” Concannon said.
Concannon, an Air Force veteran and retired NYPD captain, was told after he submitted his photo that office-seekers aren’t allowed to wear any kind of pin or button in official voter guide materials — and that extends to American flags.
Eric Friedman with the campaign board told the Daily News it’s a long-standing policy and “ensures that the nonpartisan voter guide focuses on the candidates and their ideas instead of who has the biggest button.”
Concannon isn’t buying it.
“I am absolutely flabbergasted,” he told the newspaper. “I have served my city and my country for years. There is no reason in the world why I can’t wear a U.S. flag pin.”
He said the policy is “anti-American,” adding: “You’re not going to tell me how to get dressed and you’re not going to tell me what I can and cannot have in my picture.”
Mark Weprin, the Democratic incumbent Concannon is hoping to unseat, told the Daily News he actually agrees with his rival.
“I could see harm if he wore a button that said ‘I’m Running Against Stupid,’ but to have an American flag pin seems like a patriotic gesture that any candidate can make if they so choose,” Weprin said.