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Aug 3, 2010 5:37 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Assembly race opponents exchange accusations

Aug 3, 2010 5:37 PM

The opponents in November’s 2nd District State Assembly race sharpened their defensive skills this week, exchanging accusations and each filing complaints against the other, one going as far as the State Supreme Court.

Last Tuesday, State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. filed a complaint with the State Board of Elections against his political opponent, Richard Blumenthal of Westhampton Beach, charging that Mr. Blumenthal violated state campaign finance law by failing to establish a political committee for soliciting donations.

In a completely separate matter, according to Mr. Blumenthal, he filed a lawsuit in State Supreme Court last week against the incumbent assemblyman, claiming that his designation as the Independence Party nominee was invalid.

Mr. Thiele said he was served with court papers last Wednesday and will respond this week.

Both candidates have denied the claims and called the moves distractions and efforts to soil their reputations.

Mr. Thiele said Mr. Blumenthal is violating campaign finance law by soliciting donations and spending money on his campaign before registering a committee with the Board of Elections. Mr. Blumenthal’s website, www.votefortaxcut.com, asks donors to send checks to his home address in Westhampton Beach, written out to Mr. Blumenthal. He asks donors to write “for campaign only” in the memo area of their checks and notes that he must report all donations to the state, so the donor’s name, address, phone number and e-mail address are required.

As of Tuesday, he still had not registered, with a committee or as an individual, with the state Board of Elections, which is required for campaigns that are not self-funded and that are expected to raise and spend more than $1,000 in funding, according to John Conklin, a representative for the state BOE.

Mr. Blumenthal, who was nominated for Assembly by both the Republican and Conservative parties, has also already spent campaign money, Mr. Thiele said, by purchasing and distributing lawn signs for the campaign.

Mr. Conklin said the deadlines for filing campaign disclosure forms vary depending on when the candidate began fund-raising. He said without a committee, Mr. Blumenthal could still raise his own funds, but that he should be registered with the state within five days of taking in outside funds.

“Even if he is raising his own funds, he still has an obligation to register,” Mr. Conklin said.

Mr. Conklin added that it is the board’s policy not to confirm or deny official complaints made to it about specific candidates. He said that if a complaint was made and being investigated, often the process is long, and the candidate would not see ramifications—possibly a fine—within the same election cycle.

Mr. Blumenthal defended his right to raise funds without a committee and said he did intend on filing a campaign disclosure form.

Mr. Blumenthal, who was notified of Mr. Thiele’s claim by a reporter last week, said on Monday he had still not heard anything from the Board of Elections.

His lawsuit claims that irregularities in Mr. Thiele’s nomination petition should invalidate him from representing the Independence Party.

Mr. Blumenthal said he looked over Mr. Thiele’s petition and found that many of the signatories were not registered with party. Mr. Thiele said the lawsuit also claims he and 1st District Assemblyman Marc Alessi were on the same petition, which Mr. Thiele also denies.

Mr. Thiele said 356 Independence Party members signed his petition and state law required only 217. He said Mr. Blumenthal’s accusations were an attempt to “disenfranchise voters” and “manipulate state election law.”

“My opponent has been a candidate for the State Assembly for only a few short weeks,” Mr. Thiele said in a press release on Monday. “In that time, he has demonstrated a complete disregard for the law and the democratic process. He has violated campaign finance disclosure laws by not forming a committee and filing a statement of contributions and expenditures. Now he seeks to disenfranchise independent voters by attacking their legitimate right to designate candidates for the State Assembly.”

Mr. Thiele is one of two Independence Party members in the State Legislature. He said Mr. Blumenthal’s charge will go before a judge in State Supreme Court, and if validated, would leave the Independence Party line blank on the November ballot.

He said the lawsuit filed by Mr. Blumenthal also relates to campaign finance disclosure, because without filing his disclosure forms, it’s unknown how he is paying for the lawsuit.

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How depressing.
By sunshine (47), southampton on Aug 4, 10 7:24 PM
Fred you are arrogant and need to go. We have enough ineffectual politicians.
By ICE (1214), Southhampton on Aug 4, 10 8:43 PM
1 member liked this comment
these two just lost my vote
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Aug 4, 10 9:13 PM
And the alternative?
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Aug 5, 10 10:34 AM
and while we're at it.....
Dump Levy
Dump LaValle
Dump Bishop
By uncleronk (136), southold on Aug 5, 10 8:17 AM
Thursday, August 05, 2010 updated 08:30 AM EST

Gallup Daily: Obama Job Approval

Approve 44% -1

Disapprove 48% +2
By joe hampton (3461), south hampton on Aug 5, 10 10:16 AM
1 member liked this comment
Higher than Reagan's at the same point in his first term and what happened to him?
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on Aug 5, 10 3:26 PM
Thiele is a walking case for term limits. A career politician who uses tax dollars to maintain his job.
By Noah Way (450), Southampton on Aug 5, 10 11:21 AM
It sounds like Thiele may finally feel threatened and fear losing this next election. As far as any suit against him, he and his team will find a legal loophole to once again excuse him.
By Mrs.Sea (268), Sag Harbor on Aug 5, 10 12:24 PM
Have a look at Blumenthal's website. He is a Bush-era conservative who consistently espouses Bush/Cheney principals and legislation that have nearly destroyed our country from the Gulf oil spill to the unpaid for wars and tax breaks to the rich that are the GREATEST portion of our deficit. He does not have a chance.
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on Aug 5, 10 3:23 PM
2 members liked this comment
lol still blaming bush
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Aug 5, 10 4:07 PM
You betcha! Yes, it is Bush's fault, as are so many other problems facing our country:

The war in Iraq fought for oil and to feed the industrial military complex of Cheney and his pals at Haliburton.

The gulf oil spill which happened because of a back door deregulation deal made by Cheney and big oil which allowed them to police themselves while receiving tens of billions of dollars in tax breaks (which have contributed to our deficit)

The recession, again, brought upon ...more
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on Aug 5, 10 4:22 PM
So right, peoplefirst. Bush and Cheney are to blame and, no matter how much time goes by or who is elected president next, histroy will remember that Obama was left with a mess that was almost beyond clean up.
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Aug 5, 10 4:32 PM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By joe hampton (3461), south hampton on Aug 5, 10 6:54 PM
Don't forget it was Ronald Reagan who began the tax cuts for the wealthy, via Donald Regan, CEO of Merril Lynch at the time. After those tax cuts, ironically engough, companies like GM went bankrupt.

Also, don't forget it was Clinton who signed the GLBA into law, which not only deregulated the economy, but lit the fuse for our current fiscal train wreck.

If the tax rate pre-Reagan had been maintained, things would have been quite different.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 9, 10 11:51 AM
I'll tell you what happened to him People first He went down in history as the best president we have had in the last 100 years for doing the opposite of this bastard is doing to this country
By joe hampton (3461), south hampton on Aug 5, 10 6:52 PM
HAH! Hilarious. joe and the teaparty have very selective memories.
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Aug 6, 10 10:55 AM
My opinion....What have either one of them done for US lately?????answer...nothing or very little...WHO OUT THERE WANTS TO BE HIRED because WE THE PEOPLE ARE GOING TO DO A LOT OF FIRING IN NOVEMBER....'WE WILL REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER"!!!!!!!!
By UNITED states CITIZEN (207), SOUTHAMPTON on Aug 6, 10 5:07 AM
joe hampton I hope you aren't talking about Bush as the best president we have had in the last loo years. I think maybe the heat has been getting to you if you are. I would say Bush is ranked as one of the worst presidents we have had in 100 years. I also agree it's time to clean house in November on all levels. Bye Fred, Bye Tim bring on someone new.
By favaunt (24), Sag Harbor on Aug 6, 10 7:50 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Aug 7, 10 9:20 PM
hey hey , let's stay on target.....DUMP THIELE!
By uncleronk (136), southold on Aug 6, 10 9:41 AM
No Reagan
By joe hampton (3461), south hampton on Aug 6, 10 2:43 PM
and stop removing my posts please! I think everyone hear can handle the word Bast_ _ _ If I was talking about Bush instead of obama losing power in a little over 2 months I bet the editor would have left my comment alone.
By joe hampton (3461), south hampton on Aug 6, 10 2:48 PM
I need a vacation
By Undocumented Democrat (2065), southampton on Aug 6, 10 3:43 PM
1 member liked this comment
We need to clean house in November, STARTING WITH BISHOP.
By reg rep (408), Southampton on Aug 6, 10 8:51 PM
I like opponents who run on the issues not on attacking each other..Stop the mud slinging and tell us how you are going to serve us!
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on Aug 7, 10 7:55 PM
2 members liked this comment
Theile is a good man who knows the issues and fights for what is best for the South Fork.
We are with you Fred!!
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Aug 8, 10 3:14 PM
I heard Fred tell a group of people representing bicyclists that they should sweep the sides of Montauk Hwy. because the NYS Highway Dept. just won't do it. They are paid to maintain the roads, but they can't be bothered with SR27 on the east end. Good job fighting for the people Freddie.
By ICE (1214), Southhampton on Aug 9, 10 12:19 AM
When will you people realize it isn't about Left & Right, Democrat & Republican, it is about Rich & Poor, and Poor includes the Middle and Upper Middle Classes. Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush Jr. and now Obama are all for the global elite and they very richest of our nation, wake up. Fighting one another just keeps you occupied and distracted from the real problems, which never get addressed due to al the energy senselessly wasted on the blame game. Left & Right gives you the illusion of choice, ...more
By ICE (1214), Southhampton on Aug 9, 10 12:14 AM
1 member liked this comment
What was that word Citibank used in their 2005 memo?

Aug 9, 10 11:56 AM appended by Mr. Z
At last count, the top 1% of the population, holds easily 90% of this country's wealth.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 9, 10 11:56 AM
Well, I just finished Matt Taibbi's latest article, "How Wall St. Won" in this month's Rolling Stone.

It's a doozy, and the person probably owed the biggest debt of thanks for the wholesale gutting of Congressional financial reform is none other than New York's own:


Everyone give a big pat on the back for eliminating the best shot "We" had at reigning in the complex, fiscal train wreck called Wall St.

Make sure you vote for him, next time around...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 9, 10 5:23 PM