MAMARONECK — A campaign ethics committee is denouncing a flier circulated today by village Republicans saying their Democratic rivals in the race for village Board of Trustees “lied” about the GOP candidates in an earlier flier.
The Westchester County Fair Campaign Practices Committee on Sunday found that a flier circulated on behalf of the three Democratic trustee candidates was unfair because it used “inaccurate and misleading” pictures to attack GOP candidates.
The Journal News published a story on the committee’s finding this morning.
Capitalizing on the news, village Republicans put out a new flier today saying the Democrats “lied” in theirs.
“I just want to clarify that we never, ever said anybody lied,” Evelyn Stock, chair of the Fair Campaign Practices Committee, said Monday afternoon.
“We are concerned that this could be misconstrued,” she added. “We don’t want people to use the Fair Campaign Practices Committee to gain political advantage.”
George Mgrditchian, chair of the village Republican party, said the new GOP flier does not attribute the word “lied” to the committee, adding that the flier comes with a copy of the actual determination.
“‘Lied’ is our own statement, not theirs,” Mgrditchian said. “We used their words of ‘inaccurate’ and ‘hypothetical’ as meaning ‘lied.’ If that’s not the truth, then what is it?”
Democratic Trustee John Hofstetter contended that the information in his party’s original flier was accurate — contrary to what the committee found on Sunday.
In its determination, the committee sided with GOP candidate Marianne Ybarra in her contention that the Democrats’ flier implies she and GOP running mates Mary Vozza and Greg Sullivan endorse what’s depicted in two pictures — of a proposed, new Sportime athletic facility in the village-owned Harbor Island Park; and a proposal for seasonal housing by Mamaroneck Beach and Yacht Club.
The committee also agreed with Ybarra in her argument that the pictures are “fabrications” because they don’t represent what’s actually been proposed to any village board.
Hofstetter contends that “the committee didn’t get the facts.”
He said the flier’s depiction of the Sportime facility accurately reflects what’s been proposed, and that the description of the yacht club development is based on what he and other trustees understood the project to be when they voted on Sept. 7 on a settlement that averted litigation over the club’s right to build the seasonal housing.
Ybarra’s “contention, that these proposals were never before the board, is wrong,” Hofstetter said.
Democratic trustee Toni Ryan on Monday said she and her two running mates, who did not appear at the committee hearing Sunday, never got a fair chance to defend themselves.
She said the first time she got word that the committee had scheduled a hearing for Sunday morning was the previous morning, which did not leave enough time for the Democrats to find a lawyer.
“We wrote them a letter, but we never got an acknowledgment” of it, she said. “They made a decision based on one side of the story. How can due process be served when you don’t hear the two sides?”