Keep it classy
With all the negative comments and mudslinging involved with this election, I must say it is very discouraging as a young voter. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and has the right to support whomever they decide. However to attack each other on a personal scale, including their family life, shows poor integrity. Are these signs of what is to come if these individuals are elected into office? Rather than focusing on issues that concern the community of Saugerties, personal lives and backdoor agendas come into play. Let’s start hearing how the community of Saugerties will prosper by having these individuals in office. These elections have become all about lowering standards and acting classless just to gain a few more votes. So I leave you with this… Keep it classy Saugerties and best of luck to you all!
I’m sick and tired of reading Klaus Gabel’s criticism of the Conservative Party, George Heidcamp and Gaetana Ciarlante. He seems to have a habit of attributing his own type of underhanded tactics to those he doesn’t favor. I believe everyone knows that Klaus Gabel is adamantly opposed to Helsmoortel as supervisor and is surreptitiously campaigning for Kelly Myers—and he’s using his position as “columnist” to accomplish his mission. It seems more than a little dishonest and shouldn’t be condoned by the Post Star, but that’s another story. I don’t think he’s fooling anybody and I know he’s not fooling me.
Why, you may ask, is he so fervently against Greg Helsmoortel? Think back to Helsmoortel removing Klaus from a committee. It’s sticking in Gabel’s craw and he just can’t get over it. Same reason that he’s been anti-Democrat on so many occasions lately— he was rejected by one of the Democratic Party big wheels, that’s why. Same scenario: kicked off a committee and holding a grudge.
Why drag Gaetana Ciarlante into his plot to keep Helsmoortel from winning? Why attempt to trivialize her efforts by dismissing her as Heidcamp’s “wedge”? Gaetana is a serious contender for the position and did extremely well at the Republican caucus. Had the chairman not engaged in shenanigans that evening, she probably would have won. It should be obvious that with her landslide Conservative victory and near photo-finish at the Republican caucus, that she has a message that is resounding with the public. She is hard-working and honest, and with a great message, just what Saugerties needs. And since he can’t find anything legitimate to criticize, he attempts to trivialize.
And by the way, who cares that Bill Schirmer is Heidcamp’s son-in-law. Schirmer makes sense and also has a good message for Saugerties. Yet Klaus Gabel brings up the familial relationship on a weekly basis. Again, what difference does it make, who cares?
If Klaus Gabel wants to campaign for Kelly Myers he should not be allowed to do from his vantage point…and he should have to pay for his ads, just like everybody else.
Democrats kept their pledge
This year as in the past, the Saugerties Democratic Committee and its endorsed candidates have called for issue-oriented campaigns that reject negative campaigning. In fact, this year for the first time, we joined with the Conservative Party in a pledge to ensure that our campaigns would be positive. Unfortunately the Republican “GOP” chose not to join us.
The decision by the Republican Party not to sign on to the pledge came back to haunt them after they sponsored and paid for two outrageous attack ads in a local paper. In an unprecedented action, some, but not all, Republican candidates felt it necessary to sign on to a letter to the editor, where they publicly apologized for the actions of their party leaders.
We believe that voters, regardless of their political affiliation, are sick and tired of the nastiness that has entered politics on every level. I am proud that all our candidates have kept their pledge and hope that you will honor them with your vote on Election Day, Nov. 5. Vote Row A.
Chair, Saugerties Democratic Committee
Shame on Chris Allen
I don’t like to get into politics being a businessperson. This letter is trying to avoid any political debate about who is a better candidate for Ulster County Legislature. This is about Chris Allen and his involvement around my charity event, Village Invasion, which took place Saturday, Oct. 19.
Mr. Allen was having a fundraiser for his campaign on the night of our event. It was billed as the “Village Invasion After-Party.” Our event founder asked him to please rename the event and distance himself from us as Village Invasion is a charity event. We did not authorize, endorse, or support any after-party, especially one which revenue was not for charity but instead for campaign finance.
I spoke with Mr. Allen the night of the Village Invasion. He was handing out flyers for his party despite being asked not to do so. Please keep in mind he never asked for permission initially from us either. I explained how it looked to me: a potential candidate is grabbing on the coat tails of a charity event, soliciting for a private fundraiser despite the wishes of organizers, and in the end having no intentions of donating money to said charity. I gave him an opportunity to make a donation after the weekend to make it right.
I coordinate Village Invasion to benefit Saugerties and to help support my fellow small businesses in the downtown district. I’d expect a candidate for our County Legislature to not take advantage of us, but instead, willingly promote, contribute to, and participate in our efforts.
I contacted him Monday morning to see if he would be donating anything, again, giving him an opportunity to correct a misunderstanding. We all make missteps along the way. I wanted to give Mr. Allen time to think about the situation and do the right thing by helping our charity. A small donation would go a long way with us. Seeing as he’s running for political office, Saugerties is represented by him, and he profited for his campaign in an unprofessional, uncharitable, unauthorized manner using our charity event as a venue for marketing, it would go a long way with me personally.
Mr. Allen is upset about a Facebook fight he had with one of our volunteers who was rightfully upset about Chris Allen’s exploitation. This isn’t high school. Despite our audience’s reach and the number of likes or shares, no one really cares about silly internet stuff. What matters isn’t what you say. What matters is what you do.
I gave Mr. Allen the opportunity, twice, to donate to our efforts of rebuilding a playground and supporting the local food pantry as his campaign profited from our event. He doesn’t listen. He speaks over you. He lets you know he “wins arguments.” He considers his actions justified and my actions “extortion.”
My retort to “extortion” is simple. Given the opportunity to right a wrong, people would want to know that you wasted the chance. After my interactions with him, I’d be ashamed to have him as an elected official.
Chris Allen responds:
One month ago, I contacted Jaimee Moxham, the founder of Village Invasion to discuss how we could work together. She informed me that their organization is a non-for-profit which cannot be affiliated with a political event, but that we could help each other. I invited over 700 friends on Facebook to like their Village Invasion page and 40 of my friends did. When the inflammatory post was put on Facebook by one of the volunteers, I had just buried my father that day. The post on Facebook attacked me as being a greedy politician who was “eating into the coattails” and “profiting” off of them without having helped their cause. That is an outright lie, and after Mike Flanagan came to my defense on Facebook and after I defended myself, the manager of the Village Invasion Facebook page launched a profanity-laced tirade against me and removed our post(s) and then blocked us from being able to respond after I had pointed out how we heavily marketed their event, and how the inflammatory post was in poor taste due to my father’s burial. The post again reappeared and was shared on 25 Facebook walls. While handing out fliers on Main Street, Neil Smoller and I discussed the inappropriate-immature-unprofessional nature of the Facebook post on the day that my father was buried, Smoller replied very callously and condescendingly “Oh, you had a bad day.” He then informed me that as a business owner in Saugerties that he could write an inflammatory letter with the intent upon damaging my campaign. On Monday, Smoller phoned me and demanded that I fill out a vending permit and pay him $200 to “put this behind us.” I informed him that my donation would be illegal with their non-for-profit status, and he launched into a tirade and made threats against me during which he did not allow me to talk! I told him that I would get Gerard Price, the owner of SPAF, to give him the $200 for the vending permit in order to keep the transaction legal. I told him that I thought that it was extortion, and I that I wanted a personal apology from him and a retraction regarding the slanderous comments. Smoller’s reply was “I do not want your money; I can’t wait to write my letter against you in the paper and to tell all of my friends and business owners about you.”
Mr. Smoller what you did is extortion; you are a very immature man. You had better hope that your slanderous comments do not affect my status as the upstart favorite to win this election as you have damaged my reputation with numerous lies, innuendos and attacks telling people not to vote for me. I have a witness to our conversation on Main St., and I have printed up the defamatory posts on Facebook and have numerous witnesses to your organization’s vicious attacks about me. Gerard Price did the right thing and paid your $200 vending fee as you demanded, yet this letter still appeared. And today, I spoke to Mr. Smoller and tried to settle this matter maturely, and he again spoke over me and demanded another $200 to keep his letters out of the papers. I have phoned the police.