“Warns Opponent It’s Time for Facts and Truth, Not Rhetoric”
Katonah, New York – September 14, 2011 – Incumbent Westchester County Legislator Peter Harckham (D, I, WF) L.D. 2 responded to the Republican nomination of Peter Michaelis by stating that, unlike Michaelis, Harckham was running for reelection on his strong record of accomplishment in cutting taxes and spending, reducing the size of county government, protecting Westchester families and safeguarding drinking water supplies.
Said Harckham, “I am the only candidate in this race who has a proven record of accomplishments in cutting taxes and spending, reducing the size of government, protecting our families and safeguarding our drinking water.” He added, “It is time for my opponent to come clean with the voters as to what he plans to do and to stop the right wing rhetorical excesses that have marked his campaign thus far.”
Harckham pointed to the 2011 budget that he helped craft with his Democratic colleagues and then won bipartisan support for passage by the Board of Legislators. “We cut taxes 2.2%, more than double the tax relief proposed by the County Executive. We reduced the size of the workforce by over 10%, we slashed spending by $30 million, and for the first time, required elected officials, appointed officials and all non-represented management employees to contribute to their health insurance.”
On the environmental side, Harckham was one of only 38 elected officials in New York to be endorsed by the New York League of Conservation voters for his work expanding recycling in Westchester, negotiating with the state a ground breaking septic management plan that will save home owners and municipalities hundreds of thousands of dollars, as well as many other environmental accomplishments (see www.PeteHarckham.com for full list).
Harckham cited a number of untruthful statements made by his opponent.
“In his race to curry favor with the most extreme Tea Party voters in the Republican primary, my opponent has left truth by the side of the road and has opted for a say-anything-to-get-elected strategy. It is that same kind of rhetoric that has brought Washington to its knees with paralysis.”
Harckham pointed to Mr. Michaelis’s call to overturn the Federal housing settlement with HUD. “This is an extremely dangerous gambit that would cost the taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars – that is why the county opted to settle the case in the first place. Mr. Michaelis is flat wrong when he asserts a different cost than the actual settlement number and is fear mongering when he speaks of threats to local zoning and school districts.”
Harckham also pointed to Michaelis’s misstatements about Section 8 housing. “Section 8 was a program fully funded through the state and cost county tax payers nothing. Mr. Michaelis’ assertion that the county would save hundreds of thousands of dollars through the elimination of the management of the housing choice voucher program is erroneous and was refuted in recent testimony by the Budget Director. The Board was working with the state to allow time to responsibly transition to an outside provider.
Further, Harckham cited the Michaelis campaign’s spin on their disqualification by the courts of their petitions for the Independence Party. Said Harckham, “The court ruled that the Michaelis campaign failed to comply with election law and improperly collected signatures. Despite the court’s ruling that this had nothing to do with disenfranchising any group, Michaelis’ campaign persisted with shameless statements to distract from their own behavior.”
Harckham concluded, “I am proud to run on my strong record of bipartisan accomplishment over the last four years. It’s time for my opponent to stop misleading the voters and tell the truth. The job of an elected official is to bring people together to address the challenges that we face, not scare people into voting for you.”