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Croton GOP Campaign Runs Afoul of the Law Again

March 18, 2006

Crotonblog: Letters to the Editor, Croton-on-Hudson, New York 10520
Much has been made in recent weeks by both political parties of questionable campaign policies (see “Color Me RED or Color Me BLUE?” and “The Croton GOP’s Thin Line Between Cash and Favor”). However, today I personally witnessed activities being conducted either by or on behalf of the Steinberg and Gonzalez campaigns which unquestionable violate federal law and United States Postal Laws and Regulations. Specifically, two young men in a silver SUV were depositing Steinberg/Gonzalez campaign materials in and on mailboxes throughout the village.

18 U.S.C. 1725 prohibits the deposit of unstamped “mailable matter” in a letterbox approved by the United States Postal Service, and violations are subject to a fine. United States Postal Service Regulations (DO41.1.3) go further to provide no part of a mail receptacle may be used to deliver any matter not bearing postage, including items or matter placed upon, supported by, attached to, hung from, or inserted into a mail receptacle. Any mailable matter not bearing postage and found as described above is subject to the same postage as would be paid if it were carried by mail.

Personally, I believe that our local trustees should be role models in our community and they should certainly adhere to the law. In particular I am surprised that Mr. Steinberg, as an attorney, would permit this illegal activity to take place. I call on the Steinberg and Gonzalez campaign to immediately repudiate these activities and subject their campaign to the financial penalties imposed by the United States Postal Service. Meanwhile, as voters, I think we should ask ourselves whether individuals who either directly or through surrogates break the law should be elected to lead our village.

— David Becker

On March 21, 2006 7:45 AM, Just The Facts said:

For the record, even after given the opportunity to refute these charges, it appears that no one from or on the behalf of the GOP has contested or repudiated these charges. Thus, I would suppose it is only safe to assume that the Steinberg, Gonzalez and Adami campaigns either implicitly authorized or acquiesced into directly violating undebatable federal laws and regulations.

Something to keep in mind as we go to the polls today to select local leaders who will have the power to draft and implement local law (Steinberg/Gonzalez) and interpret local law (Adami).

On March 19, 2006 5:03 PM, TeaDrinker said:

In response to “Stu’s” revelation in comment #1, reader S. sends in her copies of the “yellow flyers” in question that were allegedly penned by Croton GOP Vice Chairwoman Susan Konig under the direction of Croton GOP Chairman Mark Aarons and distributed by then high school student Rob DiFrancesco of the Westchester Teenage Republican Club days prior to the 2005 Mayoral election when Ann Gallelli faced current Mayor Dr. Gregory Schmidt.

March 2005

Low Income Housing Coming to our neighborhood (side 1 of 2)

Under consideration as a location for low income housing is the property behind the intersection of North Highland Avenue and Ackerman Court.

Below is a map of the property under consideration and on the reverse side are the notes from a meeting of the Croton Community Advisory Board, wherein it reads:

“Ann Gallelli acknowledged that she had been discussing the property with several people including Nance Shatzkin of the Croton Housing Committee for Affordable Housing”

Low income housing is not appropriate at this location. Why hasn’t this issue been made public?

Because village elections are this Tuesday, March 15, 2005, and Ann Gallelli is running for Mayor. Please do not place Ann Gallelli and her running mates in a position to make low income housing a reality in our neighborhood.

Notes of a Meeting held by the newly created Croton Community Advisory Board (side 2 of 2) June 7, 2004 25 Van Wyck Street, Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520

Barbara Swanson, Director of CCNS, and a Teacher at CCNS, called the meeting to order at 1:15 pm.

In attendance were some of those who had been approved by the CCNS Board of Directors to serve on the CCNS Advisory Board and Ann Gallelli who had not been able to attend the previous meeting of May 3rd. Further, Barbara Swanson informed the group that the only person the CCNS Board of Directors had not approved was Jordy Bell based on her inablility to make a commitment to serve.

As there was no formal Agenda presented, those in attendance engaged in free discussion about some of the topics discussed at the previous meeting.

Most of the discussion involved the financial situation and future of CCNS. The topic of the 10 acres of land and what could be done with it to financially benefit CCNS was discussed at length. Lyn Roessler noted that with Ann Gallelli on the Advisory Board of CCNS, her position with the Village of Croton (Zoning Board) would be a great benefit. Ann Gallelli acknowledged that she had been discussing the use of the property with several people including Nance Shatzkin of the Croton Housing Committee for Affordable Housing. Apparently, at an earlier CCNS Board of Directors meeting (made up of parents of children currently enrolled at CCNS) a local real estate agent, had agreed to “negotiate” with developers interested in the property but not much more had been explored.

The discussion also then turned to developing a marketing campaign, as suggested by Maureen Tocco, whereby tax deductible contributions could be solicited from past members and alumni of CCNS. It was agreed that we would get together as soon as possible to draft a “Mission Statement” letter and donation request and have an “envelope stuffing party.” Lyn Roessler agreed it sounded like a great idea – especially if we could turn it into a “party.”

With everyone in agreement it was decided not to have the next formal meeting of the Advisory Board until September at the beginning of the school year.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:30 pm.

Respectfully Submitted, Acting Secretary Maureen Tocco

On March 19, 2006 12:04 AM, Just The Facts said:

I got two of these flyers on my mailbox today. The ones I received were NOT smear flyers.

They seem to have been published by a group called “Progress For Croton” and include a telephone number (914) 271-3103 — I believe this is the Croton GOP number as this is the number posted on their website as well.

Interestingly enough, on one of the flyers I received, Judge Adami’s campaign information is included as well! I would be shocked if Judge Adami was involved in this directly — but I would hope and expect that he at least would want to check into what the people at Progress for Croton seem to be doing on his behalf.

On March 18, 2006 10:00 PM, Stu said:

I can’t believe they are are doing this again this year. I don’t know where you live Mr. Becker, but last year the Croton Republicans put flyers on mailboxes all over my neighborhood on North Highland and Ackerman and probably other areas as well. They were smear flyers about Ann Gallelli. I don’t know what is on the flyers you are talking about this year but it seems they have gone a step further and are now putting them IN the mailboxes.

Also, while I’m at it, I want to know why they are disassociating themselves with the Croton Republican party on whose line they are running - ads and flyers for the Republican candidates don’t say they are paid for by the Republicans, always some other group. This kind of deception of the voter is identical to their national counterparts. Maybe that is why they never say they are Republicans


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