North Greenbush Democrats

North Greenbush Democrats
Fighting For You!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Ashley Requests Appointment of Special Prosecutor on Bogus Contributor

Dan Ashley of the North Greenbush Democratic Committee has written to law enforcement officials seeking the appointment of a Special Prosecutor to investigate and identify the true source of a bogus $2000 campaign contribution by those who call themselves the “Reform Democrats” of North Greenbush.

Ashley made the request after members of the Committee repeatedly refused requests to comply with the election law and disclose the full and correct name, address and check number of the contributor as required by State Financial Disclosure laws.

The importance of identifying the true source of this money cannot be understated. Someone with a substantial interest in the control of the Democratic Party contributed $2000. to win party committee seats which in turn elects officers and nominates candidates to the Town Board. It is clear that that someone wants significant influence over those candidates and campaign finance laws are now threatening his exposure.

I have listed the numerous potential violations of the Penal and Election Law in a letter to the District Attorney which is also being copied to the State Attorney General and his new Public Integrity watchdog, Blair Horner. It is imperative that members of the Democratic Committee obey State Election Law and disclose the true source of this bogus contribution. Two members of this committee are town officials and Public Officers sworn to obey the laws of this State. They are the Receiver of Taxes, Mr. Devery, who is now the Treasurer of the Democratic Party and the Town Clerk, Ms. Connolly, who is the Secretary of the Party. If that picture troubles you, it troubles me as well. You are now paying your tax bills to the Treasurer of the Democratic Party and you are paying other licensing fees, marriage certificates etc to the Secretary of the Democratic Party. Neither are disclosing the source of this $2000 contribution which benefited their elections to party offices.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Democrats decline to participate in election of officers until “reform” slate discloses source of $2000 contribution

Dan Ashley of the North Greenbush Democratic Committee announced that he declined to participate in any vote to elect officers to the town Democratic Committee until the so called “reform” democrats obey the law by disclosing the source of a $2000.00 campaign contribution. He urged his supporters to do the same.

Ashley stated his belief that the contribution has been deliberately misfiled under a company name that does not exist in order to hide the true source of the money. “Allstate Remodeling” does not exist in the N.Y. Secretary of State’s database of companies and the closest name to it is a plumbing company in Troy which lists a Casale as the owner in a Verizon Yellow page ad. If this is the correct donor it begs the question why would a Troy plumber want to donate $2000. to North Greenbush party committee seat elections?

The contractor in Water District 14 has taken over the Conservative Committee and is solidly behind the so called slate of “Reform Democrats”. Present at the election of town officers was Lou Desso, a Conservative Vice Chair in North Greenbush and running mate of the defeated GOP town board slate in 2005. As Chairman of the Democratic Party, I led the demand for an audit and investigation of Water District 14. In my opinion, money from sources illegally with held on financial disclosure reports was funneled into committee races for control of our party and its nominating process.

I will continue to support that audit now under way by the State Comptroller and the “reformers” will continue to support Mr. Casale. The contractor may have enormous influence over two political committees in North Greenbush, but rest assured our supporters will continue to provide oversight and scrutiny over the town’s finances and recruit a full slate of candidates with the independence and resolve to keep the town board out of the hands of any contractor. We will also take all necessary steps to force the “reform” Democrats now in control of this town Democratic committee to comply with Election Law and fully disclose the name and address of their $2000 mystery contributor.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Ashley supports Public Referendum on New Water District Spending

Dan Ashley of the North Greenbush Democratic Committee said today that he supports the right of taxpayers to vote on a Public Referendum which would force all town taxpayers to pay for the overspending in Water District 14.

Ashley stated the proposal would shift $830,000 in spending charged to Water District 14 to the entire town forcing every taxpayer to pay for the overspending of the contract. The State Comptroller has begun an audit and investigation of the 6.4 million dollar contract in Water District 14 which is $740,000 over spent to date without change orders. The Comptroller will also examine the Supervisor’s illegal payment of a check for $82,333 which he issued to the contractor without the approval of the town board. The Supervisor is also the sponsor of the proposal to shift the costs of Water 14 to the entire town.

For months, I have been asking the State Comptroller to investigate the runaway spending in this water district and I am pleased the audit has begun. Ashley said that his support for this investigation and audit has cost him political support from members of his own party who are closely aligned with the contractor in Water District 14. The so called “Reform” Democrats who are attempting to take control of the Democratic Party in North Greenbush are supported by the contractor who has successfully taken control of the town Conservative Committee which has Michael Casale as its Chairman. Casale is listed as receiving $1,500 a week from the water district funds. Ashley noted that Michael Casale attended an illegal meeting of the so called reformers at the Country Grove last September along with his Vice Chairman, former GOP Board candidate Lou Desso. Desso and Louis Cotrona call themselves the Vice Chair and Chair of the so called Citizens Club which served as a front for the takeover efforts of both political parties.

“There are times when one must be willing to forfeit political support in order to do what is right for the town”, stated Ashley. Regardless of what party these people are enrolled in, they share common support for this overspending without an apparent cap that has caused the State Comptroller to intervene and audit the contract. The so called reform democrats will support the Evers proposal to borrow an additional $830,000 town wide to cover the overspending in Water District 14. Their chief spokesman, Mr. Cotrona defended the contractor at the last Board meeting implying the Board was picking on him.

Ashley urged town residents to sign petitions should residents come to their doors with petitions which will enable every taxpayer to vote on this proposal to make everyone pay for the overspending in Water District 14.