from the Albany Times Union: Mosque: Lazio has questions, wants AG to find answers - Capitol Confidential
Rick Lazio was joined by 9/11 activists this morning at a Manhattan press conference where he called on Attorney General Andrew Cuomo — coincidentally, his gubernatorial opponent — to investigate the funding sources of the Cordoba Initiative. The organization wants to build a mosque and community center two blocks from Ground Zero.
The CI insists that the center will serve as both a community space — complete with basketball court and art gallery — as well as a place to foster dialogue between Muslims and the West. The plan has earned the support of many religious leaders as well as politicians such as Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Cuomo. But many groups representing 9/11 survivors and relatives are outraged by the plan, and numerous Republican candidates have leapt on the issue.
A few weeks ago, Senate aspirant Jay Townsend sent a letter to Sen. Chuck Schumer calling on him to fight the plan — Townsend has made it the centerpiece of his official Web site. Carl Paladino has also come out against it.
At the presser, Lazio said he wants Cuomo “to examine what I believe is a serious security issue.”
The former Congressman was less exact when asked what that security issue might be. Lazio’s concerns are based on what he characterized as contradictory and vague explanations by the CI’s chairman, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, of the funding stream for the $100 million project. In the press conference and a letter to Cuomo’s office ... Lazio also cited Rauf’s unwillingness in interviews to say whether he considers Hamas to be a terrorist organization — although it’s unclear how the refusal to answer that question might prompt an investigation.