OSWEGO, NY – State Senate candidate Dave Renzi visited the Oswego YMCA Armory on Thursday.
He took the opportunity to claim his opponent is “wasting hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars by sending a slew of witless, campaign-style brochures – all mailed at government expense – to voters just weeks before Election Day.”
Following his brief remarks, the candidate fielded questions from the media and members of the public.
Renzi thanked the YMCA for allowing him to speak at the facility. “Obviously, this is a place to come and get healthy ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ trim the fat. Right now there is a lot of waste and fat in the state government,” he said.
Renzi clutched a handful of his opponent’s fliers as he spoke.
“At a time when our state faces a $6 billion budget gap and families are
struggling to buy food, gas and fuel for their homes, my opponent is
spending your hard-earned tax dollars to promote his reelection through
these vain and worthless mailers,” Renzi charged.
Ten of them were sent out within the last six weeks, at a price to the taxpayers of about $200,000, Renzi claimed.
The mailers were sent only to registered voters, he pointed out.
Each contains an average of five – and as many as eight – pictures of Sen. Darrel Aubertine posing with children and eating ice cream; some contain no legislative information at all, Renzi said, adding, “It doesn’t highlight issues that affecting the district, it doesn’t reach out to all the constituents, only to the voting public.”
The mailers do not discuss what Renzi says is Aubertine’s record-low legislative rating from a key good government group, his failure to introduce promised jobs legislation, or his plan to eliminate STAR rebate checks.
“What I’m asking Sen. Aubertine to do is to immediately stop sending these mailers prior to the election, it’s inappropriate and it’s wasteful,” Renzi said.
“My opponent should be focused on putting Albany on a diet, and cutting the fat from our out-of-balance state budget, instead of mailing trite and
useless advice to voters on their own dime,” said Renzi. “I’m hoping Albany can tighten its belt and cut the fat. We have to do it our homes and I think the politicians there should do it as well.”
The candidate was asked about the recently released Sienna Poll that shows him trailing Aubertine by about 20 percent.
He claims his campaign has more support than that particular poll gives him credit for.
“The people I’ve talked to in the street, I feel great about it; I was in Mexico the other day for an event that had over 150 people there. I think we’ve got a lot of momentum,” he said. “The only poll that matters to me is the one on Nov. 4.”
He dispelled allegations of running a negative campaign.
“When I started running this campaign I said I was going to run a positive campaign, and I’m doing that. I have been focusing on the issues and will continue to focus on the issues,” he told the Oswego County Today. “I feel real good about our campaign. The feedback I’m getting is it’s very positive.”
In a press release issued Wednesday, Cort Ruddy, Aubertine’s campaign coordinator, said that Renzi had told the voters he was going to run a positive campaign.
He has already gone back on his word, Ruddy noted.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIt is disappointing to say the least, but shows exactly how desperate he (Renzi) is and how eager he is to take direction from Albany insiders and an out-of-state media firm known for negative campaigning,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Ruddy said. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œDarrel has a strong record of working on issues that impact children, including efforts to expand access to affordable health care to all children and record increases in school funding for central and northern New York schools. It is shameful that Mr. Renzi has turned to children to disseminate his negative message.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Renzi said the Aubertine camp “recognizes us as a real threat,” and predicts “it’s going to be a tight race.”