Chris Collins: Running His Mouth Like a Business
by Geoff Kelly - posted 5:00 pm, January 13, 2010
Chris Collins may have put his foot in his mouth again, DN Capitol Bureau Chief Ken Lovett reports.
After being forced to apologize to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver for comparing the Orthodox Jewish Democrat to Hitler and an anti-Christ, the Erie Council executive and gubernatorial hopeful made an off-color comment to a woman at Gov. Paterson’s State-of-the State address last week, two lawmakers claim.
According to the two, an Erie County woman was looking for a seat in the packed chamber when Collins said: “I’m sure if you offer someone a lap dance, you can find a place to sit.”
Collins spokeswoman Jessica Proud said she was with the county executive the entire day while he was in Albany and did not hear the comment.
But Assemblyman Joseph Errigo said he overheard the remark and thought it was completely inappropriate and unbecoming of someone who aspires to be governor.
“I don’t care if he knows the woman or not, it’s just inappropriate,” said Errigo.
Errigo said had been undecided about whether to support Collins or Rick Lazio for governor, but now there’s no way he would back the county executive – even if he is the party’s nominee.
“It shows a total lack of judgment,” he said. “As a Republican, if that were my candidate, I would be totally embarrassed and I certainly wouldn’t be putting my name on any endorsement for him.”
Making matters worse, Errigo said Collins made a similarly crude remark to the woman at an event the night before the SoS at the Fort Orange Club that was hosted by Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb.
The assemblyman said Collins also took shots at Lazio after his fellow Republican made the rounds and left.
“I would almost consider him a novice,” Errigo said of Collins. “It’s uncalled for.”
Another Assembly Republican, who is squarely in Lazio’s corner, also confirmed the comment.
“It was an incredibly insensitive thing to do, especially for someone who wants to be the Republican gubernatorial candidate,” the second lawmaker said.