Letter: Dem chair isn’t listening to his own party’s members

Editor, The Spotlight:

In last week’s Spotlight, Town Democratic Committee Chair Matt Clyne complained about the new Bethlehem Reform Democrats. How can he complain about a group that’s trying to get more people involved with the Democratic Party? He can’t even win an election these days, so he could sure use some help.

But it seems that Mr. Clyne doesn’t like anyone other than those he personally selects to be on the Committee, that’s why he doesn’t want anyone else involved. And his claim that this new group is about keeping someone else in office is laughable. Mr. Clyne is the guy who’s ensconced in office. He’s been in about 20 years, and he would never allow for a paper ballot when it came time for his re-election as chairman each year. It had to be a hand vote and who in his right mind is going to raise his hand against Matt Clyne? Now that’s what I call ensuring re-election.

Now let me go back to what Mr. Clyne stated in an article recently, that it was his job to get Democrats elected. Really? Well his hand-picked candidates for town supervisor lost in 2009 and in 2011. Seems like he’s not doing too well. And let’s recall the 2007 Albany County Legislature election in Selkirk when the incumbent Bethlehem Democrat Howard Shafer was running for re-election and was refused the endorsement of Clyne’s Committee because he had his own candidate in mind. So we had a primary election and the result is that the incumbent Howard Shafer won over Mr. Clyne’s hand-picked candidate. Did Mr. Clyne support the Democratic voters decision in the primary? No, he ran his candidate as an Independent in the general election, thereby splitting the vote and denying any Democrat re-election. There were 872 votes for Shafer the Bethlehem Democrat, 153 votes for Mr. Clyne’s candidate, Pat Dorsey and 910 votes for the Republican candidate Rich Mendick, who therefore, won the election. You do the math!

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