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SPITZER SAYS POLITICIZING 9/11 WRONG

State Attorney General Eliot L. Spitzer issued a stern warning Thursday to Republicans staging their national convention in New York on Aug. 30: Keep the 9/1 1 terrorist attacks out of politics.

Speaking to a meeting of the New York delegation to the Democratic National Convention, Spitzer said he expects that the GOP gathering will produce plenty of references to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 -- not far from the convention site in Madison Square Garden.

"We're going to hear a lot about Sept. 11," Spitzer said. "And I say this to the Republican Party with all respect and deference: Do not dare use 9/1 1 for political purposes."

Spitzer, mentioned as a potential Democratic candidate for governor in 2006, blasted Republicans and the Bush administration for initially opposing creation of a Homeland Security department and the 9/1 1 commission.

While the attorney general said those discussions form the basis for legitimate debate, he maintained the event itself should not be used by either side as part of the election process.

"Neither party should use this for politics," he said. "So I say to the Republicans: Do not go there. It is not fair or right, and we will not stand for it."

Republicans noted that Democrats have referred to the tragedy throughout their convention. And State Republican Chairman Alexander F. Treadwell issued a statement saying all Americans will not forget the events of that day, but that the party will talk about combating terrorism.

"As a party, we've resolved ourselves to elect leaders and support policies that will deliver Americans greater national security, protect the homeland, and never relent or waver until the war on terrorism has been won," Treadwell said.

e-mail: rmccarthy@buffnews.com

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