by Stephanie Hughes
I am concerned that some Democrats, confused by the recent barrage of dirty mailers accusing David Fried of malfeasance, and unhappy with their other choice, may choose not to vote on Tuesday. Please don’t take this path! This primary is crucial to Rockland County’s future. Fried is our only real hope for any progress towards fixing our financial problems and preventing the erosion of our environment, which is probably why he’s being so furiously attacked by both his opponents.
The truth about these charges:
Felonious Donors: The donations in question were made back in 2006 during Fried’s State Assembly race by persons who were later accused and convicted of or plead to crimes years after they made the donations. No candidate can control the future behavior of donors. Fried is a politician who works for the people, not himself. He has donated thousands of dollars of his own money to charities and non-profits.
The Sheriff’s Job: When the legislature voted on the creation of Public Safety Advocate, David recused himself from the vote because he intended to seek the position. When applying for the job, he submitted more than 30 letters of recommendation – including police chiefs from across Rockland County. As Public Safety Advocate for the Sheriff’s Department, David secured millions of dollars in state and federal grants for the Rockland Sheriff’s Department. When traveling on behalf of the Sheriff’s office, David never took reimbursements, paying for travel and accommodations out of his own pocket.
All this is a matter of record.
Who is sending these mailers?
Until Dagan Lacorte, Mayor of Suffern, was eliminated from the race by court order several weeks ago, the mailers aimed at damaging David Fried came from his campaign. Most of these can be easily identified by the code in the little box in the upper right corner which identifies with a series of numbers or letters the account paying for the mailer, in Lacorte’s case: WC MGG 10314.
However, since Lacorte’s dismissal, more have arrived. There can be no doubt that these are coming from Ilan Schoenberger’s campaign, based on their postal code, the same one on the mailers promoting his candidacy: Permit No. 1822, White Plains, NY. There are others as well that bear one of the other codes he has been using.
With this behavior, Ilan Schoenberger has shown that, should he win the primary, he does not deserve the backing of Fried or his backers or any self-respecting Democrat. A certain amount of competition is understandable during primary season, but this kind of dirty dealing is unworthy of a candidate who hopes to reflect the kind of law-abiding respect for the truth necessary to provide the leadership the County needs at this time of crisis. Questions asked of the person who answered the phone at Schoenberger’s campaign headquarters were deferred to someone else, who, I was told, would return my call. When no return call came, further calls went unanswered.
Please do not fail to vote this coming Tuesday, and until then, please discuss the situation we’re dealing with in Rockland with your friends and family members, the fact that we have the lowest bond rating in New York State, that we’re deeply in debt, and facing emergency measures that will hit already stressed taxpayers very hard indeed. Since Schoenberger, for the past seven years Chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee on the Rockland Legislature, is largely responsible for getting us into this fix, what can we hope, either with Schoenberger as County executive, or with the Republican who runs against whomever we choose, with the results before us of so many years of Republican “leadership”? With upwards of 5,000 votes already guaranteed to Schoenberger by the block vote out of New Square, we need every Democrat in Rockland County to get to the polls this Tuesday.