Is this a new low for Saugerties politics?
That’s been the reaction of some residents who found a glossy postcard in their mailboxes yesterday depicting the pixelated mugshot of incumbent District 2 Legislator Chris Allen with attacks referring to Allen’s September arrest: Stop Ulster County Legislator Chris Allen’s War on Women. Saugerties women deserve better… On Nov. 3 say no to assault, say no to misogyny, say no to Chris Allen.
The advertisement is not signed.
Allen’s opponent, Angie Minew, denied responsibility and knowledge of who may have sent it. In a release she wrote:
“As I received the same mailer, and have yet to run a negative campaign I have no need to start now. You have a man who does nothing but attack anyone who disagrees with him and just simply decides to make things up as he goes it’s no wonder someone dished it back— although this time it was the truth in his face.”
Town of Saugerties Conservative Chairman George Heidcamp also denied sending the mailer or knowledge of who did. “I sign my name to anything I write,” he said.
Allen himself seems to be less irritated by the mailer than his supporters. He pointed out that unsigned political advertisements are a violation of election law and complaints will be filed to the county and state boards of elections. He declined to speculate on who might have sent the mailer. When asked if he believed his opponent’s statement that she had nothing to do with it, he replied, “I don’t know what to believe. She hasn’t run a clean campaign, that’s for sure.”
He said it’s possible such an attack could backfire.
“I understand how political campaigns are run and I understand how voters operate. I think this is going to make voters highly suspicious of the allegations against me and the organized campaigns and political players that are working together to try to take me out.”
He said he could tell from the Albany postmark that the mailer was not sent from Ulster County, and it might have been sent from the northern part of Greene County or Albany County.
Saugerties Times has received several letters complaining about the ad. The letters will appear in full in the Oct. 29 issue.
One writer calls it, “the most distressing campaign smear literature ever.”
Another said that although Heidcamp and Minew may not have paid for the mailer, they “have utilized the harsh terms which appear in the mailer, so in essence they ‘reap what they sow.'”
“This really sets a new low for campaign dirty dealing,” writes another.
“This card stated strong allegations that have not yet been proven in an attempt to sway women’s votes against Allen in a nasty way…I had hoped women would attempt to change politics for the better,” writes another.
District 2 includes the village, Barclay Heights and Malden.