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9/11 turns against Rudy Giuliani

January 4, 2008 |  4:08 pm

Rudy Giuliani has not had a good month. He’s slipped in the polls, the wisdom of his multi-state strategy has been called into question, and he could use a decent showing in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary. But Saturday, a couple of men who were injured in the World Trade Center's collapse are hoping to undercut his Republican presidential bid.

The pair plan to show up at the GOP candidate debate at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., to protest what they say is the former New York City mayor's lack of concern for some of those who developed chronic illnesses as a result of breathing tainted air in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

Jon Sferazo, 53, a structural iron worker who spent a month digging through rubble, has diminished lung capacity and has trouble catching his breath when he speaks. Marvin Bethea, 48, a paramedic, suffered a stroke and developed asthma, among other ailments.

The men, both of whom say they are unaffiliated with any candidate or party, will be on the scene for a sidewalk screening of a video about their struggles by Robert Greenwald. The Los Angeles filmmaker has made two other anti-Giuliani videos as part of a series called "The Real Rudy." (Videos can be watched at www.bravenewfilms.org.)

Giuliani has made his response to the 2001 terrorist assault on New York the centerpiece of his campaign. But at least two other groups representing some of those involved in 9/11 rescue and cleanup efforts are working against him, claiming either that Giuliani’s mistakes contributed to the disaster or that he has used the tragedy to enrich himself.

One, 9/11 Firefighters and Families, is setting up a political committee to launch attacks and has already campaigned against him in New Hampshire. Another, the International Assn. of Firefighters, has made its own video urging members to oppose his candidacy.

-- Robin Abcarian

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