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BALLSTON: GOP protests political posters

With political signs on roadways and intersections, and the clock running between now and Election Day, town of Ballston campaigning is well under way.

Now, members of the town's Republican party are claiming Democratic candidates are breaching fair campaign practices.

At issue are logos that resemble party symbols, Web site domains, and whether one sign was placed before the 45-day limit. The town's Republican committee chairman, Alan Colyer, filed three complaints with the Fair Campaign Practices Committee, calling the political ads misleading. The committee is overseen by the Saratoga County League of Woman Voters. The complaints were lodged against the Ballston Democratic committee and town supervisor candidate Patti Southworth.

We all know that campaigns can get heated, but we are making every effort to stick to the issues that impact the town of Ballston, said Colyer. "It is unfortunate that local politics, where we are all neighbors, has come to this kind of trickery."

The complaints include the use of what appeared to be a copyrighted Republican elephant symbol on Southworth's campaign signs; a link from the www.ballstongop.com domain to the Democrats' Web site; and a political sign reportedly posted earlier than the 45-day moratorium as stated in town code.

"The use of Republican symbols and the Web site name is a blatant attempt to make Ballston voters believe that the Democratic candidates have the support of the Republican Party or that these individuals are actually Republicans," said Colyer. "Linking a Web site domain name that appears to be connected to the Republican committee by the Democratic committee is misleading, purposely fraudulent and borders on identity theft."

The town's Democratic chairman, Patrick Southworth, husband of Patti Southworth, said he was disappointed by the level of animosity in the complaints.

"Many of these things have already been taken care of," said Southworth. "What's happening here is they're trying to distract from the real issues."

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