NY constituents rally, call on Weiner to quit
NEW YORK (AP) - June 12, 2011 -- Foes and supporters of embattled Rep. Anthony Weiner yelled at each other in front of the New York Democrat's district office on Sunday as congressional leaders called on Weiner to resign amid a sexting scandal.
"He's not fit to be our congressman," said Jim Scott, 61, one of about two dozen constituents who rallied in front of Weiner's office in the Kew Gardens section of Queens. "People are sick of him, especially his attitude."
Weiner said Saturday that instead of resigning over the scandal, he was seeking professional treatment and asking for a leave of absence from Congress.
Scott held a sign that said: "Weiner must resign today, today! Rehab tomorrow."
Robert Holden of the Juniper Park Civic Association in Queens said Weiner could not be an effective leader with his reputation in tatters.
"Our congressman unfortunately has become a laughingstock of the nation," said Holden, 47. "He should resign."
Half a dozen Weiner supporters gathered a few yards away.
James Sideris held up a sign saying, "Weiner Should Not Quit!" He quickly got into a shouting match with Weiner opponents.
College student Olivia Lurrie, 18, said Weiner was a good leader who made a mistake. She argued with Len Santoro, a 40-year-old information technology worker who said it was impossible for anyone to take the congressman seriously now.
"It doesn't matter if I agree with him on the issues," Santoro said. "He can't lead."
Weiner has acknowledged exchanging messages and photos, ranging from sexually suggestive to explicit, with several women online. The latest to surface appeared Sunday on the gossip website TMZ.
The second-ranking House Democrat joined the party leadership Sunday in urging Weiner to quit over the scandal.
Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland spoke of Weiner's "bizarre and unacceptable behavior" in texting inappropriate pictures of himself to young women. Hoyer said it would be "extraordinarily difficult" for Weiner to continue to represent his constituents effectively.
Weiner's Ninth Congressional District spans parts of Brooklyn and Queens.
new york, anthony weiner, national/world
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