YORKTOWN, NY – It is only the first week in October and candidates say Yorktown voters have already been subjected to a barrage of unfounded accusations and innuendos by the Democratic Party endorsed Yorktown First candidates and their operatives. Already, a bipartisan panel has ruled the Yorktown First slate, which features a nucleus of career politicians and a career candidate, were guilty of misleading voters and unfair campaign practices. Now, their opponents are saying “enough is enough” by proposing a seven point pledge for a fair campaign.
“It shouldn’t surprise me how far our opponents are willing to go but it seems each week they reach a new low,” said Supervisor Michael Grace. “They have already restored to lies and personal attacks because they have no platform, no ideas, and cannot stand against our record of holding the line on taxes, improving the financial health of our town and moving Yorktown forward. It’s time for the negative campaign to end and I challenge our opponents to sign the fair campaign pledge.”
The proposed seven point pledge is geared toward providing voters with a clear and honest comparison of the candidates vying for elected office. The tenets are as follows:
- No political party, candidate or agent working on behalf of a political party or candidate will intimidate or bully local businesses or civic groups into allowing political signs to be placed on their property or theaten boycotts if signs are not removed.
- In accordance with state law, as well as a 2015 town board resolution, there will be no use of town resources for advancing any political campaign.
- All political parties and candidates will file itemized campaign finance reports as is required by the New York State Board of Elections.
- In order to give voters an opportunity to hear from the candidates vying for elected office, all candidates will participate in the debate hosted by the Yorktown Chamber of Commerce on October 25th, 2017.
- All campaign materials and advertisements shall clearly identify the candidate or candidates as well as disclose the person or political party authorizing and paying for such material.
- No meritless accusations and personal attacks shall be levied against candidates and elected officials.
- No information divulged in an executive session of the Town Board may be shared or used for any campaign purposes. All information discussed at an executive session shall be deemed privileged as dictated by the Open Meetings Laws of New York State.
Councilman Greg Bernard said, “To me these are common sense proposals that I would expect anyone to abide by. We are focused on the issues facing Yorktown and making sure all of our residents are properly represented. The fact that we have to even propose this in order to ensure this year’s local campaigns do not get out of hand is actually ridiculous.”
Rob Puff, candidate for Town Council agreed saying, “Our opponents only filed the required campaign finance reports after we shamed them into following the law. As a first time candidate I am shocked and dismayed that we have to go this length to ensure a fair and honest campaign. Considering my opponents have held office for more than thirty years combined I would expect better.”
Yorktown Highway Superintendent Dave Paganelli said “For the last nine years Yorktown voters have trusted the Republican Party while our opponents have been more focused on personal attacks than the issues. I am very interested to see which candidates come forward to pledge to bring transparency and fairness to this election cycle. It shouldn’t take a pledge but that’s what it has come to.”
All candidates are invited to sign the pledge at town hall on Wednesday, October 11th at 12:00PM, or publicly at any time within the next ten days.