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NY-26: Niagara County Democratic Party Hypocrisy

by on August 6, 2008

Apparently, even though the Niagara County Republican Party has joined the Powers campaign in accusing Jack Davis of petition fraud, they have no desire to return any money Jack Davis donated to the party.

A day after the release of a letter in which Democratic Party Chairman Dan Rivera called for a district attorney’s investigation into the handling of election petitions by Davis staffers, Wojtaszek publicly called on his Democratic counterpart to return every dollar his party has ever received from the Akron businessman he now accuses of wrongdoing. 

“I believe it is important for political parties to try to maintain the highest political standards so voters can have faith in the integrity of our system,” Wojtaszek said in a statement released Tuesday. “So if Chairman Rivera believes Jack Davis broke the law, I applaud him for coming forward. But if he really believes in honesty and integrity, he will return the tens of thousands of dollars he has taken from the man he now describes as a lawbreaker.”

While it seems to make sense that if Rivera is going to accuse Jack Davis of illegal activity that he’d quick to rid himself of Jack Davis’s dirty money. Not so.

On Tuesday, Rivera dismissed Wojtaszek’s request to return contributions from Davis as the latest in a series of attempts to discredit the local Democratic Party under his leadership. Rivera said local Democrats have received donations from Davis whom he said has also sponsored a couple of the party’s golf outings. He added that the contributions — no matter what type or amount — do not add up to Rivera overlooking what he believes may have been violations of election law on the part of Davis staffers. 

“Is what Wojtaszek saying is that he’d keep his mouth shut if someone paid him enough money, even if he knew they did something illegal?” Rivera said. 

Rivera insisted that his issue was not with Davis himself, but rather with members of the Davis campaign who handled his petitions. 

“I never said Jack Davis has done anything illegal,” Rivera said. “I never stated that.”

Rivera is clearly distorting the nature of Wojtaszek’s request. Over the past few years we’ve seen a lot of politcal hay made over the source of donations, and often the legal troubles of a donor result in calls from rival campaigns to demand the tainted money be returned. Rivera himself called for an investigation of Davis’s campaign’s actions, so one can only assume that Rivera believes that something illegal did occur.

If Rivera doesn’t think Jack Davis did anything illegal, why would he specifically call for an investigation, unless he’s admitting the letter is just a political stunt? In fact, I would even think it be a huge symbolic gesture if Rivera had the returned the contributions from Davis when he called for the investigation. Now it just seems like typical political opportunism, with a lot of hypocrisy thrown in.

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From → Campaign 2008, NY-26

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