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Assembly campaign under scrutiny

Fair Campaign Practices of the Capital Region, a non-partisan campaign watchdog group, has found both incumbent Assemblyman George Amedore, R-Rotterdam, and challenger Mark Blanchfield have stepped over the line in their campaigns.

FCP, which is affiliated with the League of Women Voters, issued a ruling Tuesday, Sept. 30, that stated a Democratic advertisement unfairly twists the words of Amedore, and that Amedore, in turn, used unfair campaigning practices by blasting the ad in a campaign mailing.

The ruling came after a complaint from Amedore, R-Rotterdam, who claimed an ad by Blanchfield distorted his words.

The Blanchfield ad uses audio of an interview Amedore did with The Business Review earlier this year. Amedore, who runs a home-building business, is quoted as saying, I have building in my blood, that's my job. I don't look at the Assembly position as a job.

Amedore's next sentence " "I look at it as serving, giving back." " is omitted.

According to FCP's ruling: "The radio and automated advertisements violate principle No. 4: 'a candidate will not permit distortion or falsification of facts regarding an opponent.' By using only the first sentence and omitting the second sentence, the advertisements distort Mr. Amedore's attitude toward his position in the Assembly. This distortion is further amplified by Mr. Blanchfield's implication, without basis in fact, that the Assemblyman's elective position was not his top priority. There is a long tradition in New York state of citizen-legislators who serve as lawmakers in addition to their regular occupations. Mr. Amedore considers himself in that tradition."

In response to the ruling, Amedore issued the following statement:

"I am genuinely gratified that FCP has ruled in favor of clean campaigns and affirmed that the Blanchfield campaign ads were, in fact, misleading. The FCP ruling clearly shows that the Blanchfield campaign has not been telling it straight. It is my hope that Mark will stop running those ads that have been ruled misleading and join me in honoring the Fair Campaign Practices Pledge. Voters across Schenectady and Montgomery counties deserve an honest discussion of the issues that matter to them: the need for a real property tax cap, more jobs and a state government that spends, borrows and taxes less."

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