An independent Fair Campaign Practices for the Capital Region panel found on Saturday, Oct. 31, that a campaign flyer distributed by Republican Town Board candidate Fred Di Maggio violates the organization's principles.
Democratic candidate Mark Jordan had protested the flyer, which appeared as an insert in the Friday, Oct. 23, edition of the Times Union and alleged that Jordan was the recipient of 116 ghost parking tickets in the City of Albany worth over $7,500. Jordan said that those tickets were issued to a vehicle registered to his wife and himself, and were received during the course of her law enforcement duties prior to having been issued an official state vehicle.
An FCP panel found that the statements in Di Maggio's flyer violated their provision that candidates must not use campaign material that "misrepresents, distorts or otherwise falsifies a fact or the facts regarding his opponent."
FCP President Rev. Mick Drown confirmed that both candidates signed a "Fair Campaign Pledge" with the group.
"I'm gratified with their decision," said Jordan. "I think it's unfortunate that my opponent felt the need to resort to a negative campaign that was factually misleading and had nothing to do with the issues in Bethlehem."
Di Maggio said that while he respects the panel's determination, he feels the six-member panel "missed the point."
"The point is this is a legitimate campaign issue that could be and should be raised," he said. "This is in the public venue, and it's something that's been thoroughly investigated by the media as well as the comptroller office."
The panel also noted that assigning a monetary value to the tickets, which were "no-fine" tickets and were not assigned value by the comptroller's report the flyer cites, was also misleading.
Di Maggio said that he calculated the figure himself with the knowledge a parking ticket in downtown Albany, with late payment fee, is $65. As the owner of a business on South Pearl Street, he said he is intimately familiar with the parking ticket situation in the city.