Democratic challenger calls on senator Ritchie to stop sending political mailings with tax dollars
Monday, September 17, 2012 - 11:39 am

Oswego County Legislator and New York State 48th District Senate candidate Amy Tresidder is making a public plea to Senator Patty Ritchie to stop spending tax dollars on “veiled campaign literature.”

Tresidder said that Ritchie has been using taxpayer money to send out literature that does nothing more than promote her re-election campaign.

“Why is Mrs. Ritchie not paying for these mailings from her campaign fund,” Tresidder asked. “If the taxpayers want to financially support her re-election, they should be given a choice to do so by donating to her campaign fund. They should not be forced to pay for the literature and mailing costs with their hard-earned tax dollars.”

The 48th District seat, now held by Ritchie, a Republican from Heuvelton, includes the St. Lawrence County towns of Louisville, Waddington, Madrid, Lisbon, Canton, Oswegatchie, DePeyster, DeKalb, Hermon, Edwards, Fowler, Gouverneur, Macomb, Morristown, Hammond, Rossie, the city of Ogdensburg, and Jefferson and Oswego counties.

Tresidder, a Democrat, said she has received numerous calls from her constituents questioning the expense.

“People have been asking why Senator Ritchie has been using their tax dollars in this manner and I feel it’s time for her to be accountable to the public,” she said. “I call on Sen. Ritchie to reimburse the state taxpayers for her misuse of their money.”

Tresidder pointed to the most recent literature received by some residents. The slick colored flyer states, “Senator Patty Ritchie, cutting taxes, reducing spending and making NY work again.”

“How is Senator Ritchie reducing spending by having the taxpayers subsidize these mailings. This is a blatant use of tax dollars for her own self-promotion and it is money that should be taken from her campaign fund,” Tressider said.

Tresidder also criticized Ritchie for promoting herself on the packages of mosquito larvicide kits paid for by the state and distributed to residents of Oswego County. A card with the Senator’s picture is handed out with each kit.

“The public is aware that the state provided these kits,” Tresidder said. “There is no reason for the taxpayers to foot the bill for cards bearing the Senator’s picture.”

Another mailing is on the STAR rebate that Ritchie promised to restore in her last Senate campaign. Tresidder said this taxpayer funded mailing also begs the question of whether Senator Ritchie is practicing fiscal responsibility.

“Does Senator Ritchie feel this literature is something that the taxpayers want and expect to subsidize? I ask the senator to provide an explanation to the residents of the 48th District for using their money to promote herself during this campaign season and I am making a public plea for the senator to cease this practice now and return the production and mailing costs to the taxpayers.”

Tresidder said it is an issue she will continue to press.

“Campaigning off the backs of the taxpayer is wrong. They deserve more from an elected official and I would think and hope that Sen. Ritchie is ashamed for the waste of tax dollars that she has displayed. The senator need to be accountable to the public, return the money to the taxpayers and stop this practice immediately.”

Tressider is a St. Lawrence County native, and has worked in Potsdam.