GOP candidates are patronage recipients

To the Editor:

I was surprised to read the letter from Guilderland Republican Chairman Matt Nelligan about running a truthful election campaign.

That's a laudable concept, but Mr. Nelligan got off to a shaky start with his rant about Democratic candidates and political patronage positions.

The truth is that the patronage recipients associated with this year's local race are on the Republican side of the aisle.

Supervisor candidate Mark Grimm held patronage appointments from both the Governor's Office and the Assembly Republican Caucus during Governor George Pataki's administration.

Town Clerk candidate Jason Wright is a patronage employee at the Albany County Board of Elections.

Receiver of Taxes candidate Bryan Best is a patronage employee of the New York State Senate Republican Caucus, the same group that provides yet another patronage position to Republican Chairman Nelligan himself.

A spirited campaign should be everyone's goal. However, there is something wrong with again a campaign on untruths, déjà vu of the Warren Redlich/Mark Grimm campaign of several years ago.

Gerard Houser

Guilderland

Editor’s note: “This is like the pot calling the kettle black,” said Matthew Nelligan, chairman of the Guilderland Republican Committee. “The Democratic Party controls the town, and appoints dozens of patronage positions to town boards and committees.” Mark Grimm, he said, was involved with Governor George Pataki’s campaign more than two decades ago, and has been a private business owner ever since. Jason Wright holds a position at the county level, while Best and Nelligan hold positions at the state level. “When you control the town government, and you’re talking about a town election, it’s laughable to try to bring it to the county or state level,” Nelligan said. “It’s just a distraction.”

Additionally, Nelligan alleged that the contents of Houser’s letter “looked suspiciously like” a blog post on the website Guilderland Town Topics, which has since been removed. Houser responded that he was “not aware of any such blog post.” He added, “The information I had was based on general knowledge from 23 years of following local politics.”

Gerard Houser is the Town of Guilderland Community Gardens' Coordinator.