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Opinion

December 2, 2013

Don't let local politics mimic national

I thank the residents of Hartwick, Milford, and New Lisbon for electing me to represent them on the Board of Representatives. I am honored and humbled. I especially thank those who actively supported my campaign.

I have great hope for our community and I promise to do my best to live up to voters' expectations. I am fearful, however, of the direction that local politics may be heading. Recent activities by the Otsego County Republican Committee and a few of its supporters give the clear impression that Republican Party leaders want to take us down the same dark path that national politics has gone.

I am referring, specifically, to the negative flyers, postcards, and robocalls issued by the Republican Committee in the final days of the campaign attempting to scare voters into believing that Democratic candidates will raise taxes beyond the tax cap and are anti-gun rights. Both accusations are patently false. I am referring, also, to certain local activities such as a town board candidate sending a letter to New Lisbon voters that was full of false and misleading accusations. I am referring, also, to the recent false accusations that I violated New York state law by electioneering inside a polling place.

I urge everyone, Democrats and Republicans, to let our political leaders know that such negative tactics are unacceptable. I urge Mr. Casale, Republican Committee chairman, not to lead us down this path and I urge Mr. Abbate, Democratic Committee chairman, not to follow that lead.

There are differences of opinion among us, as there should be. Let's argue for our points of view constructively and based on facts and ideas, not on political partisanship or false accusations. Please end the negative attacks now before our local governments become as dysfunctional as our national government. Otsego County residents deserve better.

Ed Lentz

New Lisbon

New Lisbon Town Councilman

Otsego County Representative-elect, District 5

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