Letter: Saugerties supervisor election far from over

check box voteIt appears from the Aug. 13 piece by Klaus Gaebel that reports of my election defeat have been greatly exaggerated. I would like to clarify a few details for your readers upon which they may have been misled. First, the election has not taken place. Mr. Gaebel’s claim that my opponent, Greg Helsmoortel, has assured his victory in the polls seems premature given that it is only August, a significant number of Saugerties voters are dissatisfied, and there are still two viable candidates in the race.

Second, Mr. Gaebel claims that in 2013 I “lost big” on the Conservative ticket. The results of that three-way election were split roughly 23%-35%-42%, with nearly a quarter of voters choosing to break with both major political parties to support my platform. Abraham Lincoln, in the early days of the Republican Party, rose to power with 29 percent of the vote in a three-way race. I do not consider 23 percent of voters’ support “losing big.”

Since 2013 I have been the frequent subjects of Klaus’s columns but yet I have never met this self-proclaimed political expert and brash historian. Whatever the motivations for his uninformed prognostications, the fact remains that Mr. Gaebel can offer little more than a drum-beat which he hopes will lead the wayward, dissatisfied, and disaffected voters to march in step and choose any candidate, as long as it is Mr. Helsmoortel. I hear that is how democracy works in Russia, China and North Korea, all with the help of the “official party line” reporter. On the night of the Republican Party Caucus, Mr. Gaebel showed no interest at all in reporting on my candidacy, although I made several overtures to conversation with him. If he would like to report on the substance of my platform, the actual prospects of the Conservative Party, and my concerns regarding the machinations of the Saugerties Republican Party leadership, I remain available for an interview, as do many of my supporters within the Conservative Party.


Mr. Gaebel does not like Conservatives. There is no mention in his analysis that in 2013, Conservatives were bolstered by nearly three votes at the polls for every registered member of their party. That amounts to a huge defection by Republicans and Democrats, crossing the aisles for change the Conservative Party has long advocated: lower taxes, government transparency, and an economic foundation built on private enterprise rather than government intervention.

By calling Helsmoortel “the obvious winner” of the upcoming election, Mr. Gaebel exposes his views as little more than intellectual cheerleading. As a Democrat himself, it seems odd that Mr. Gaebel should exhort the fact that “Republicans don’t run lefties on their line.” Perhaps Mr. Gaebel is reveling in the failure of the Saugerties Republican Party to put its political principles above the personal politics of its leadership? But that is an issue for another column in its own right. For now, it is enough to remind readers of a bit of history: When the waning powers of Ancient Greece aligned with Rome to hold back the rising power of Macedonia, Greece became a puppet state of Rome. Now, as the Saugerties Republican Party, facing a lamentable degree of irrelevance, consumed by the vanity of its leadership, attempts to put down the rising Conservative Party, it has enlisted the help of a Democrat candidate. And so will choice by the wayside for the people of Saugerties if the musings of Mr. Gaebel are followed.

Gaetana Ciarlante

Saugerties supervisor candidate