An ambitious Queens councilman is raising eyebrows by appearing in paid ads for an auto dealership while sponsoring legislation urging New Yorkers to buy new cars.
City councilman appears in auto ad
"Are you going to buy a Paragon Honda hybrid?" WABC radio host Curtis Sliwa asked Councilman Hiram Monserrate in one of two ads on the station last month.
"Well, Curtis, the answer to that is absolutely yes," Monserrate responded in the live spot. "My next car will be a hybrid, and I'll be shopping at Paragon."
The endorsement doesn't appear to break any laws, but it's rare for a sitting elected official to back a product or company in such a baldly commercial way.
The move is especially unusual because Monserrate is pushing a law that would benefit Paragon, lifting fees at parking meters and municipal lots for a year after drivers buy a hybrid vehicle. Monserrate announced the legislation at Paragon's Woodside location in March.
Monserrate is also backing two Council resolutions asking the state for tax breaks for owners of hybrid vehicles. One good government group called the ads "troubling."