Lies and Political Chicanery in Greenburgh- September 8, 2005

Lies and Political Chicanery in Greenburgh


Richard J. Garfunkel

September 8, 2005



Recently we have witnessed a very distressing trend in Greenburgh electoral politics. On September 13, 2005 the Democratic voters of Greenburgh will have a choice between two slates vying for the party’s official designation. The vote of District Leaders will be meaningless the day after the Primary. The only votes that count will be the Democratic electorate.


In this campaign we have seen a distinctive effort on the half of the Greenawalt Team to paint the long-time Democratic incumbent, Paul Feiner as some kind of area pariah. But of course that’s politics. Paul’s record, like any other incumbent, is fair game for evaluation and criticism. Ultimately the electorate will decide whether they are better off with him or without him.


In our Town form of government, a Supervisor has only won vote on a Town Board of five individuals. Therefore it is the obligation of a strong executive to either build coalitions within or without his party with individuals that sit on the Board. When these individuals do not support the Supervisor, it is incumbent on the executive to seek support from the electorate for a change.


In this campaign we have seen an inability of the other side to gain traction on their specious claims of mismanagement and chaos at Town Hall. The Town is working well. Services are second to none, neighborhoods are protected, parkland abounds, our credit rating is at an all-time high, and crime is at an all-time low. In other words the future of the Town is in secure hands, that will be made more secure and steady by a new team of vigorous Town Board members to replace the tired out current ones who have withered under the stress of criticism by a group of special interest advocates.


So, therefore the campaign has come down to one reality, the other side’s attempt to run basically a one-issue campaign, the matter of a woman’s right to choose. The first salvo in this planned and coordinated attack was a comment by Catherine Lederer-Plaskett in the Summer (7/15/05) Woman’s Coalition for Legal Abortion newsletter, where she accused Paul Feiner’s running mates, Kevin Morgan and Allegra Dengler of being “sleeper cells” of the right-to-life movement. Ms Lederer-Plaskett is on the Greenburgh Town Democratic Committee, and voted against Paul Feiner and his slate with regards to the party’s official endorsement. Is this true? Of course not!


The second planned salvo was a letter by Thomas Abinanti,a County Legislator that wrote a letter to the editor in the Rivertowns Enterprise on September 2, 2005, calling for the election of the “100% pro-choice team” to the Board. He has determined that the candidacies of Kevin Morgan and Allegra Dengler are not pro-choice. Of course Mr. Abinanti lost his seat to Mr. Feiner many years ago in an earlier Democratic Primary.


The last shoe to drop is piece distributed by Diane Juettner and Francis Sheehan that accuses Kevin Morgan and Allegra Dengler of not being pro-choice. This piece of course quotes the aforementioned Catherine Lederer-Plaskett’s fictitious conversation with Allegra Dengler. The piece also mentions two fictitious references supposedly made at public meetings in Hastings and Greenburgh.


We believe that these statements are part of a planned effort to assassinate the characters of these two candidates. We believe that this concerted effort has been concocted by supporters of the Greenawalt Team as an effort to sway the electorate with the promulgation of a lie in the 11th hour of this campaign. We believe that this a matter of political slander and we have fought back by addressing these questions head on with the founder of the Westchester Coalition for Legal Abortion, Ms. Polly Rothstein, who has stated that non of the candidates are iffy on the question of a woman’s right to choose!



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