It’s often said that we don’t know what people are really like behind closed doors. Thanks to hidden cameras, however, we’re starting to get a glimpse of the personas that people don’t want us to see — especially political figures like New York Senator Tom O’Mara.
Several weeks ago, a constituent approached O’Mara (with a hidden camera) and asked about his support of a liquefied gas storage project that is a topic in the state.
The first four minutes of the conversation were cordial enough, but when the man said offhand “that’s interesting” about something his wife said, O’Mara really went off. It’s up for interpretation whether the man’s statement was meant to be sarcastic or taunting, but regardless, O’Mara’s reaction was completely uncalled for and a vicious verbal attack. He obviously had no idea the man was wearing a hidden camera.
“What the fuck do you mean, that’s interesting?! … You’re a f**king douchebag! Get the f**k outta my face! Right now! Now!”
The tirade didn’t even end there. As he was walking away from the man, he was again recorded unleashing his wrath.
“Move, a**wipe! I’ve had enough of you and your kind!”
Today, O’Mara offered a public explanation, which some may interpret as an apology.
“It’s regrettable that the exchange ultimately turned heated and, as an elected official, I regret the words and tone that were used. I still don’t like the underhanded tactics, but I should know better.”
What exactly is at the root of this ugly exchange? Fracking.
O’Mara is a strong supporter of fracking, and the questioner apparently has some concerns over health and environmental risks, as do many New Yorkers. In 2012, Common Cause reported that O’Mara was one of New York’s top 10 political recipients of money from the natural gas industry for the five previous years. That could be why many people question his support and motives.
Back in 2012, O’Mara said he was confident that science would find that fracking was safe.
“In the conclusion of its report, Common Cause says they want to make sure the ultimate policy adopted by our state is based on fact and science. And that’s consistent with my position all along on fracking – that we have the experts determine if we can do this responsibly and safely, and set forth regulations to do it responsibly and safely.”
A decision by the experts, that was based on science, was announced at the end of 2014 that banned fracking in New York.