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Where Were the Pols?

With one exception, the six major candidates for mayor were silent during the bus-shelter flap. The Voice called their campaigns last week to ask whether they now have anything to say about the issue. Here are excerpts from their replies:

Herman Badillo: A spokesperson said that taking down the ad was "outrageous."

Michael Bloomberg: An aide had not heard about the controversy. The campaign had no further comment.

Fernando Ferrer: When the story broke, he wrote a letter to Infinity stating that "it is offensive to prevent critical information" from reaching gay people in the Bronx. Ferrer also issued a press release calling Infinity's decision "downright dangerous."

Mark Green: Plans to write a letter to the transportation commissioner expressing his "concern" about pulling the ad. Efforts to reach gay men of color "shouldn't be undermined because some people are uncomfortable with the issue."

Alan Hevesi: "When it comes to saving lives, we should send the strongest message possible. The issue is not what words people find offensive...but what words raise awareness."

Peter Vallone: "The city's outreach must be comprehensive and effective, but any ads must also be respectful of the neighborhoods in which they are located."

Mayor Giuliani's office did not return phone calls from the Voice.

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