ELECTION DAY, NOV. 5TH: VOTE ROW “A” FOR KIMMEL & PROVAN
HERE I am, on a partisan note, urging everyone to show up at the polls on Tuesday Nov. 5th to vote for Joel Craig for Supervisor and Billy Kimmel & Annie Provan for the two vacant Town Board seats. I have grown so fond of Billy and Annie. They have thrown themselves into their campaign, handing out flyers, and walking door-to-door with great energy. They will be great assets on the Board if they are elected. The odds are against us but with continued diligence and outreach we may pull it off. The campaign committee is phoning all democrats in town urging them to vote for Row “A”. We have sent out three mailers: the first primarily to Democrats to get these two candidates introduced tot he residents, the second went out this last week to every householder in town generally repeating the contend of the first, and the last, a flyer describing the result of the complaint against the Republican Committee which had never filed with the State or County Board of Elections in spite of raising money to the extent that would require them to file. The Columbia County Board of Elections basically replied in the very language of our complaint and said it had determined that the Germantown Republican Party had failed to file and could be fined for non-compliance with the Election Law.
What did we gain by making this formal complaint? It disrupted the complacency of the Republican town Committee. Under the chairmanship of George Sharpe Sr. the Reoublican party had ruled the town government for 25 years. In prior elections they had very little opposition in a “Republican ” town. But by 2009 there was significant opposition and they had to spend more money to keep in the game. They accepted $1,550 from the County Republican Committee but never registered with the BOE or filed a report. They had functioned under their own rules so long the Committee simply didn’t think that it was necessary to follow the Election Law. Who would ever care? Who would ever know? Not a large amount of money was raised and spent.
It’s possible that the treasurer didn’t realize that once they had gone over that threshold, of $1,000 raised or expended, the State Law required them to file. When we first formed our town’s Democratic Organization we knew we had to file from the get-go, and in our first year we filed showing receipts of $1,005.00–just $5.00 over the limit! We knew all about the Election Law because our Democratic County Committee made sure that we knew. We attended all-day classes that explained the Law and how to comply with it. Perhaps the Republican County Committee failed to do the same for their town organizations. If that is true then the Republican County Chairman shares some of the blame. After receiving the letter from the Columbia County Board of Elections, notifying them that they were required to register and file reports, the Republican Party has been filing reports for the years from 2009 to the present, and we are gratified to see them beginning to comply with the Law, just as other town committees have had to do.
In this matter, it is the NY State Board of Elections that determines the fines applicable, not the County. I will be pursuing the resolution after the election when things calm down a bit.
The campaign committee is phoning Democratic voters today, (Saturday ) and tomorrow, plus other residents to remind them of the election Tuesday, and asking for their support. The odds are against us because the Republican voters out number us. However, a big turnout might help us, and, because local elections are often extremely close, we still stand a good chance for them to be elected. We will know by 10 PM Tuesday night. I will be working all day as an election Inspector. So……….DON’T FORGET TO VOTE!! VOTE ROW “A”!!