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Weiner can't escape scandal

| Friday, July 26, 2013, 7:48 p.m.

NEW YORK — New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner met with Superstorm Sandy victims Friday on Staten Island as he tried to move past the sexting scandal threatening to derail his political comeback attempt.

The former congressman toured the ruined home of Joseph Cardinale, a 14-year resident of a beachfront neighborhood still hurting from the storm's deadly tidal surge. The house, stripped to the studs, will have to be torn down; Cardinale is upset about how difficult it has been to rebuild.

Weiner said he visited the neighborhood because he wanted to bring attention to the plight of storm victims.

“One of the reasons why we're here today is that I knew that now, you're gonna come with me. And you should see this,” he told reporters. “There is this notion because the cameras had left, because some of the headlines changed, that the problem was solved.”

But even in that setting he couldn't escape the scandal. After walking through the ruined house and meeting several neighbors who shared their Sandy horror stories, he was confronted by Peg Brunda, a retired schoolteacher.

“I don't quite understand how you would feel you'd have the moral authority, as the head administrator in this city, to oversee employees, when your standard of conduct is so much lower than the standard of conduct that is expected of us,” said Brunda.

Weiner asked whether she would vote for him. Brunda said no.

“I want to let your neighbors make their decisions for themselves,” Weiner said, telling reporters he intends to stay in the crowded mayoral race.

Some news outlets continued to heap ridicule on him.

AM New York ran an illustration of Weiner wearing a clown nose, next to the headline “3-Fling Circus.” Even The New Yorker got in on the act: Next week's cover will feature a cartoon of Weiner astride the Empire State Building.

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