RINFRET REVERSES ON BELLAMY; NO CHANGE REPORTED ON JOURNALIST

Staff and wire reports
Section: LOCAL,  Page: B11

Date: Friday, November 2, 1990

A month after calling Democratic comptroller candidate Carol Bellamy "that idiot woman," Republican gubernatorial candidate Pierre Rinfret said Thursday that he'll vote for her instead of the GOP incumbent Comptroller Edward Regan.


"I don't think Regan has done his job. Part of the trouble is he's been a patsy for Mr. Cuomo, and I don't want any patsies," Rinfret said in a live interview on Albany television station WNYT-TV (Channel 13). "If Miss Bellamy is in office and I'm governor, I have enough respect for her professional talent, I'd be delighted to have her as comptroller," he said.


Last month, Rinfret told the Middletown Times Herald Record that he would vote for Regan.


"You're goddamn right I'm voting for Regan. He's a helluva lot better than that idiot woman," Rinfret told the newspaper's editorial board in comments published Oct. 6.


A Regan spokeswoman didn't seem disappointed by Rinfret's comments. "This past week Ned Regan has received the endorsement of virtually every daily newspaper in this state," said Maureen Connelly. "We have those endorsements and now Carol Bellamy has Mr. Rinfret's endorsement."


Bellamy's campaign had no immediate comment.


A recent poll by the Marist College Institute of Public Opinion shows Rinfret distantly trailing Gov. Mario Cuomo. Bellamy and Regan were running neck-and-neck in the comptroller's race, the poll said.


Rinfret's endorsement took place after he canceled a scheduled appearance on WTEN- TV (Channel 10) because the station refused to exclude its political consultant, New York Post state editor Fred Dicker, from the interview.


Dicker and Channel 10 reporter Bob Lawson tracked Rinfret down outside the studio of WNYT-TV in Menands, where Dicker and Rinfret exhanged words.


"I don't want to talk to this man," Rinfret said outside Channel 13, referring to Dicker. "No matter what was said to you, Frederic, you lie about it."


"You always tell the truth?" Dicker shot back, and challenged Rinfret to "name one instance" where he (Dicker) had lied.


Later, on Channel 13, Rinfret, who has attacked several reporters during the campaign, said he considered Dicker "the ultimate low in printed journalism."


However, Rinfret did not cite any instance where Dicker "lied."


In the report he filed with Lawson on WTEN, Dicker said the incident was "very strange."


"Once again we tried to find out the reasons (for Rinfret's attacks)," Dicker said in the report. "I mentioned to him some stories I've written, I've asked repeatedly, 'What did I write that was wrong? When did I ever lie?' He accuses me of being a liar. That's a very serious attack on a journalist, as we all know. Pierre Rinfret wouldn't answer."


Reached for comment, Dicker noted that since Rinfret started campaigning he has accused reporters from the New York Times, the Middletown Times Herald Record, Associated Press and Gannett New Service of lying and even attacked leaders of his own party for lying about him. "I think there is a pattern there, combined in my case with an inability to site specifics, that shows who the real liar is," Dicker said.


Republican gubernatorial candidate Pierre Rinfret on Thursday proposed an immediate $200 public university tuition increase and a freeze on "pork barrel" spending to help close New York's projected $824 million budget gap.


In his fiscal plan, Rinfret said he could erase the budget deficit without layoffs, tax increases, across-the-board state agency cuts and without disrupting state services.


Rinfret said increasing tuition for the current school year at the state and city universities would raise $20 million. He also said he would reduce the state work force through attrition, for $100 million in savings, and eliminate state worker overtime, saving another $100 million.


In other political news Thursday, State Sen. Anthony Masiello of Buffalo, chairman of the state Senate Democratic Campaign Committee, accused Republicans of lying in campaign literature in the most contested races. Masiello also charged that the GOP was hiding where it was spending its money.


Republican campaign director Robert Haggerty labeled Masiello's attack a "Democrat dirty trick" perpetrated out of desperation.