Republican Assemblyman George Amedore Jr. didn’t distort the record when he accused Democratic opponent Mark Blanchfield of voting to raise taxes and wasn’t misleading when he distributed a flier reprinting a newspaper headline, a non-partisan watchdog group determined. Blanchfield had protested the campaign tactics.
The Fair Campaign Practices of the Capital Region ruled against both complaints filed by Blanchfield against Amedore, the 105th Assembly District incumbent Tuesday. The non-binding determination was made after a panel of six who heard representatives from both campaigns Monday evening. Neither candidate attended the hearing.
In Blanchfield’s first complaint, he argued Amedore’s campaign and Amedore himself had falsely characterized his record on the Schenectady City Council. He alleged the campaign had unfairly characterized him as sitting on the council while taxes for the average homeowner increased by 75 percent.
The panel determined there was enough evidence that taxes had increased by this amount during Blanchfield’s tenure on the council. They also chastised Blanchfi eld for not including his argument with one he filed earlier.
Blanchfield’s second complaint took issue with an Amedore fl ier that he accused of manufacturing a newspaper headline. He also claimed the mailer misleadingly included a paragraph that appeared to be part of the newspaper article, but was instead part of a Fair Campaign Practices ruling.
The panel rejected these assertions and noted that the headline was in fact published online. They also noted that the Fair Campaign Practices ruling was in no way distorted by Amedore’s flier.
Blanchfield was disappointed by the ruling, but didn’t seem surprised. He said the panel had put him at disadvantage by accepting information from Amedore’s campaign that wasn’t properly vetted before his hearing.
“In no way did I raise taxes for homeowners by 75 percent,” he said. “ It’s too bad they’re giving these folks full rein to do whatever they want.”
Amedore was pleased with the ruling and is awaiting a decision on three complaints he filed against Blanchfield recently. He insisted he is abiding by the fair campaign pledge and criticized Blanchfield for filing frivolous claims instead of sticking to the issues.
“I am pleased with the ruling and I’m hopeful Blanchfield’s campaign will get back and focus on the issues,” he said.
The rulings were the latest in a volley of complaints made to Fair Campaign Practices by Amedore and Blanchfield. Earlier this month, they found that both candidates circulated distorted and misleading advertisements.