Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dems Caught in the Act

Democrats in the Rensselaer County Legislature, specifically Legislators Flora Fasoldt and Keith Hammond, look like they may stepped into a real ethical hole.

A Freedom of Information request has caught Democrats in the act, preparing and distributing political materials on the taxpayer's dime. The FOI found the legislative Democratic office put together a press release advertising a Democratic fundraiser and Democratic candidates. Fasoldt is a state committeewoman for theDems, so the press release may have been done on her orders.

The FOI also uncovered a press release featuringHammond complaining about an election involving the Working Families party. Both of the Fasoldt and Hammond press releases were sent out from the Democratic legislative office, on Democratic legislative stationery.

What exactly does a press release about a Democratic fundraiser or a Working Families election have to do with the County Legislature? None, really, and it's possible some laws were broken. It's also possible other laws were broken because there is now the allegation that Democrats may have deliberately omitted information from their response to the FOI. That is a big, big problem.

The Times Union broke the story on their Local Politics blog. 

It's funny seeing the comments left on the post, especially when you remember that Fasoldt is supposedly such a champion of open government and Hammond claims he's a fighter for the taxpayers. Just two political press releases, put out at taxpayer expense, have undone any of those claims.