Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Gardner Supporters try to Nullify Caucus



Supporters of convicted felon, Neil Gardner, filed a lawsuit in Supreme Court on Thursday, October 1, asking that the results of the Stephentown Democratic Caucus be thrown out. The suit was filed in the Supreme Court in Troy on October 1. A date has been set for Thursday, October 8, at 2 pm in front of Judge McDonough. The suit was filed by Stephentown residents James Phillips, Kelly Beebe, and Stacey Shufelt. Phillips twice attempted to disrupt the Democratic Caucus before nominating Republican Gardner for Highway Superintendent. Beebe, is a niece of long-time Republican operative and Gardner advisor, Janet Atwater. Shufelt works with Gardner’s sons at Clark Engineering.

“This is completely outrageous,” said Andrew White, Chair of the Stephentown Democratic Committee. “They are trying to take away the right to vote in Stephentown. Our residents have the right to choose someone other than a convicted felon for office.”

Gardner was removed from office in October 2008, following his conviction on 24 felony counts related to his actions as Stephentown Highway Superintendent. He is the Republican Party candidate for this position in the November election, having narrowly defeated the current Highway Superintendent, Aldie Goodermote, by a vote of 89-75 at the Republican Caucus. The popular Goodermote soundly defeated Gardner by a vote of 111-13 at the Democratic Caucus.

Tom Wade, Chair of the Rensselaer County Democratic Committee, who attended the Stephentown Caucus added, “The audacity of this convicted felon to think that he can now steal the election through the courts after losing at a legally called Democratic Caucus is appalling. The Democratic Caucus was announced through a variety of legal, effective means. The effectiveness is evidenced by the record number of participants; a full 50% increase over any such Caucus Stephentown has ever had. The charges are simply ridiculous and represent the action of a desperate candidate. He is clearly afraid of facing the public in a fair and open election.”

“It is even more outrageous to learn that Gardner and his supporters are being advised by Tom Spargo, the disrobed, disbarred, and disgraced former judge and ex-attorney,” said White. “Our information on the driving force behind these filings comes from none other than the Rensselaer County GOP. It shows that the Rensselaer County Republican candidates are embarrassed with having to share a ballot with this convicted felon. It’s time for Stephentown residents to say Enough is Enough”.

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