What’s been the reaction of Rye residents when campaign mailers arrive, as they have at a dizzying pace in this off-Presidential election year? Close reading at first, straight to recycling as we edge closer to Election Day November 7.
It’s not that voters aren’t all fired up about the contests — County Executive Rob Astorino being challenged by one of Rye’s own, George Latimer; Mamaroneck Mayor Norm Rosenblum trying to unseat Rye’s Catherine Parker on the County Board of Legislators; and the Democratic slate of Josh Cohn, Sara Goddard, Julie Souza, and Ben Stacks, all of whom are running for the City Council for the first time, waging a vigorous campaign against incumbent Mayor Joe Sack and Councilman Terry McCartney, who are running with Susan Watson and Elizabeth Parks.
The trouble is that in many cases, the battle lines aren’t clearly drawn. Far too much innuendo, and, in a number of cases, inaccuracies and falsehoods have voters scratching their heads or running to the windows and shouting, “I’m angry, and I’m not going to take it anymore!”
In recent weeks, the County Executive race has become downright ugly. Most voters don’t want Astorino to resign, as the Latimer campaign has suggested, nor do they want to read more about Latimer’s unpaid parking tickets.
Mayor Sack and Councilman McCartney have been making use of the City of Rye email system to send “important messages” and “updates,” the first of which violates a decades’-long City policy during election campaigns. In previous administrations, the messages came from the office of the City Manager.
Meanwhile, Mayor Sack asked the Westchester County Fair Campaign Practices Committee to determine whether an ad run in a local newspaper (not The Rye Record) was fair and the Committee deemed it unfair on the grounds that, “moving the DPW for a staggering $50 million” was not yet a “plan,” and those 64 mini-cell towers would be installed “in the right-of-way, not on resident’s front lawns.”
In the final days leading up to the Election, voters are struggling to remember who threw the first grenade and what the candidates stand for, so we asked a number of them and then went straight to the televised debates and, after that, the campaign websites.