I received a press release from Ken Ivins, who is running for Commissioner of Finance. In his release he accuses Commissioner Madigan of receiving money from a lobbying firm that represents Saratoga National Golf Course. I contacted him and asked if he could provide documentation for this and he indicated that, regrettably, he was unable to.
In fairness to his opponent, Commissioner Michele Madigan, I sent her the press release and asked if she wanted to respond. She did and below are the press release and Commissioner Madigan’s response.
Ivins Declines to Meet with Saratoga PAC
“My vote is not for sale.”
For immediate release
Ken Ivins Candidate for the position of Commissioner of Finance was invited to interview with the Saratoga PAC on Friday October 16th. He declined that invitation. His opponent Michelle Madigan not only agreed to meet with them , but invited them to City Hall for the meeting.
In an email sent to Bob Manz Chairman of the Saratoga PAC, Ken wrote:
Thank you for the opportunity of meeting with the newly formed Saratoga PAC. After much reflection I have come to the conclusion that at this time I respectfully decline your invitation to be interviewed. While I appreciate the invitation, I am not seeking your endorsement and therefore don’t wish to waste your time.
Your group has conducted itself professionally and I have much respect for many of the individuals who comprise your Board. However, as I go door to door many citizens have expressed concerns about political influences from big money and special interest groups. Because your group has just recently emerged and thus has no track record, the community is very nervous.
As I have said from the beginning, because I am not endorsed by my local Party, I am running as an independent candidate, beholden to no one except the voters. I understand that leaves me at a disadvantage, especially financially, but I truly believe the position of Commissioner of Finance needs to be free from any perceptions of impropriety.
If I win the election, then I would be happy to sit down with any members of the Saratoga PAC and discuss the important issues of the city. Meanwhile, I would like to congratulate you all regarding the city-wide survey you conducted and I look forward to hearing the results.
Again thank you for inviting me and I hope to be talking with you in the future,
The current Commissioner has accepted over $500 from a lobbying firm representing Saratoga National Golf Course, received money and the endorsements from the City Fire Fighters union and the Saratoga Police Benevolent Association (groups whose contracts she would be voting on if re-elected), over $700 total from the director and members of the City Center Authority, (Madigan has still not released the emails she redacted between she and the Director of the City Center regarding the parking garage and her true role she has played in that process) and now she will meet with the Saratoga PAC. “It makes you wonder who she serves, special interest groups or the tax payers,” states Ken Ivins.
Ken goes on to say, “I will only represent the voters of this city, not the party bosses or a special interest group. My vote is not for sale.”
Ken will having a press conference on Thursday, October 15th at 4:00pm at High Rock Parking lot to discuss this issue as well as the Comprehensive Budget presented by the current Commissioner and how it is designed intentionally with flaws to fool the public into voting for her.
Dear members of the media:
I received the following press release last night and can only hope you will be contacting me to discuss all the lies and made up nonsense Mr. Ivins seems to be desperately peddling about me these days. This from a man who has lost his last 2 elections and could not obtain a 2nd on a motion for endorsement by his Republican Party to run again for finance commissioner.
What he writes about the PAC is not true. I declined to be interviewed by the Super PAC for an endorsement meeting at the holiday inn. I simply didn’t think this news required a headline / press release. I did tell them, and tell all my constituents, I’m available to meet as their elected commissioner of finance at city hall to listen to their issues and concerns. As I would any citizen. The PAC has declined my offer to meet with me as constituents.
He lies regularly and doesn’t have the facts. The attack he proposes on Thursday against my budget shows once again the man does not understand city finances. When this man was I charge of our city’s finances he would regularly tell the public he was “bamboozled” by his fellow council members and that if he didn’t know something he would simply “make it up”.
The PBA did not endorse me this time around because I did not support their contract. I’m watching out for the taxpayers. They have endorsed the Mayor and Commissioner Franck, both of whom voted in the affirmative for the PBA Contract. The firefighters have never given me money. Some group gave me $250 – northeast government consulting – they give to everyone. The Mayor and various commissioners and have been donating since my first campaign. etc. They have never requested a meeting with me to discuss my positions on any issue. I’m proud of my association with the city center and those constituents that represent me for a broad base of reasons. My vote is never and has never been for sale!! My constituents know this.
As for my opponent, this is a man who raised taxes by over 12%, laid off 49 city employees, and found himself with millions in surplus at the end of each year of his years a Finance Commissioner. There was no reason to ever lay off a single city employee. There is so much more I can say about his very poor budgeting technique on behalf of the taxpayers of this city.
Respectfully, Michele Madigan