City Democrats Issue Complaint To New York State Board of Elections Over Republican Handout

City Democrats issue second complaint to New York State Board of Elections regarding a handout promoting citizens to vote for Republican endorsed candidates on the United Saratoga ballot line.

New York State election law requires that items paid for by political committees include the information about who paid for them.

I contacted Chris Obstarczyk, the Saratoga Springs Republican chair.

I would note that in spite of my criticisms of him on this blog, he takes my calls and is always courteous. Readers may recall that I harshly criticized him for being unwilling to criticize the local take over by Republicans of the Working Families Party and his attack on Robin Dalton in a recent Times Union story.

In contrast, the Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee chair does not respond to my texts and emails.

In a text to me, Mr. Obstarczyk wrote:

“The provisions of the Election Law are subject to interpretation on whether palm card is exempt under the statute.”

My understanding is that the law is quite clear and when I pressed him to provide the legal basis for his assertion, he told me that he did not have time given the pressures of the campaign.

The Democrats claim that the “paid for” was left out in order to hide the affiliation of the candidates to the Republican Party. I am skeptical. Most everyone knows that these candidates are endorsed Republicans.

One of the purposes for getting an independent line like United Saratoga is to allow people who do not want to vote Republican to be able to vote for a Republican without appearing to support their party.

I think the Republicans would have been better served to just admit leaving the “paid for by” off was an oversight and move on.

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