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New Scotland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, November 3, 2011

Dems outspend GOP
Danz refutes attack ad

By Saranac Hale Spencer

NEW SCOTLAND — In the last days before Tuesday’s election, campaign rhetoric has gotten heated.

Christine Galvin, who is active with the Democratic campaign, bought an ad in this week’s Enterprise centered on Republican candidate Timothy Danz, noting entries on his personal Facebook page, including his favorite book, which is listed as Skinny Bitch in the Kitch and his favorite movie, which is listed as Jackass.

“You can pick and choose what, you want to make someone look as twisted as possible,” Danz responded this week. The book, which reached number six on the New York Times best-seller list in the paperback advice category, was a joke-gift that he gave to a friend, Danz explained, and a photograph described by Galvin of him posing with a dinosaur featuring large breasts was one among many taken of vacationers outside of a popular restaurant while he was on a cruise. Galvin, a member of New Scotlanders 4 Sound Economic Development, which opposed big-box development in New Scotland, asserts in her ad that the Democrats running against Danz will vote for a size cap.

Danz reiterated his stand against supporting big-box commercial development and his support of a size cap in order to regulate development. “I’m for a size cap,” he said.

He is also cautious of allowing hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas in New Scotland and suggested instituting a five-year moratorium on the practice so that the town can see how it turns out elsewhere before allowing it.

Galvin wrote in her ad that Danz maintains his “work at a family HVAC company” qualifies him to serve in town government. “I ask, why?” she wrote.

He frequently negotiates large contracts, in excess of $1 million, for Family Danz Heating and Air Conditioning, Danz said. “I have to work every day to make my business work,” he said. He emphasized that the personal notes from his Facebook page that Galvin remarked on in her ad have “no bearing on what I do.”

Campaign finances

Democrats in town races have raised nearly $7,000 to the Republicans’ $4,500, according to campaign finance disclosures filed with the state.

The largest single contribution to the Democratic ticket, which has incumbent Thomas Dolin running unopposed for supervisor and William Hennessy and Patricia Snyder running for the two open seats on the town board, came from the New Scotland Committee for Responsible Zoning. It was for $425.

That committee was created during the last election two years ago, which became a heated debate about commercial development, to support the trio running on the Democratic line.

The largest single contribution to the GOP was $500 from Timothy Stanton, who is running for town board with Timothy Danz. The Republicans did not field a candidate for supervisor.

Both parties have spent money on typical campaign expenses to produce literature and lawn signs.

Some of the signs have sparked contention, since the Democrats added yellow toppers to their blue-and-white signs that proclaim in capital letters, “No fracking,” referring to the process of hydraulic fracturing that is used to extract natural gas.

While going door-to-door to campaign, the Democratic candidates were often asked where they stood on that controversial issue, said Michael Mackey, the chairman of the town’s Democratic committee. They decided to add the toppers because “they wanted people to know where exactly they stood on the issue,” he said.

In a letter to the Enterprise editor last week, sitting town board member Douglas LaGrange said that he supported the candidates on the Democratic ticket, “who are not endorsed by the… pro ‘Fracking’ members of the Republican Committee.”

Lance Luther, chairman of the Republican Committee, said this week, “Fracking has never come up as an issue at any of our meetings.” He guessed that some members of the committee would be against allowing hydraulic fracturing in town and others would want to look into the idea.

The GOP’s two candidates represent those views — Stanton said in an election interview published on Sept. 29 that hydraulic fracturing “would be well worth looking at.” It could bring jobs to the town and contribute to the economy, he said. Danz didn’t wholly reject the idea of hydraulic fracturing, but said, “The town of New Scotland is highly dependent on well water, so I would be very concerned having that kind of operation in our town.”

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