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FEPC Says Candidates Violated Fair Election Practices Pledge

By Staff



Sandy Frankel

The Fair Election Practices Committee found Democratic candidates Sandra Frankel and Mike Bovay to be in violation of the Fair Election Practices Pledge, Oct. 27.

The committee said Frankel, a Democratic candidate for Monroe County executive, violated the pledge by stating Republican Candidate Cheryl Dinolfo’s husband had been “tied to the biggest bid-rigging scandal in recent history.”

The statement was “neither accurate nor honest, FEPC officials said, and, therefore, the claim was a violation of the group’s fair campaign pledge.

According to reports, Dinolfo’s husband had been inadvertently appointed to the board of a local development corporation in 2004, but had resigned from the post by 2005. He was not connected to the local bid-rigging scandal which emerged in 2013.

Consequently, Frankel’s campaign said it has agreed to remove the ad.

“While we respectfully disagree with the findings of the board on [the LDC claim], and we stand by our ad, and all the content of our ad, we play by the rules,” her campaign manager said in a statement. “As such, I have already requested that it be taken down by all the stations running it.”

However, on the contrary, the committee has dismissed another complaint from Dinolfo, who is currently the Monroe County clerk, in which she said Frankel tried to wrongfully connect her with the current administration.

“As a matter of law, the county clerk is separately elected, and autonomous from the county executive, however both offices are administering departments in the county, and must often in the public perception work together,” the FEPC stated. “The committee is not in agreement on the view of this being a violation, and, therefore, that part of the complaint is dismissed.”

The committee also found Bovay, a Monroe County Legislature candidate, to have been in violation of the pledge, by claiming his Republican opponent, Joe Carbone, had done nothing in support of efforts to hold Scott Congel accountable for his failed attempts to develop Irondequoit’s Medley Center.

“The statement that Carbone ‘still did nothing’ is not accurate or honest, as he did join in, and execute the resolution for an ‘In Rem Tax Foreclosure,” the committee stated.

Republican Chairman Bill Reilich released the following statement, in part, regarding Bovay:

“In this race, the Democrats have desperately tried to throw every attack possible at Dr. Carbone, in an attempt to deceive the voters of Irondequoit. We know that, on Election Day, the voters will see through all the lies, and elect the person they know will represent them with integrity and honesty, Dr. Joe Carbone.”

Separately, Reilich also said he supported the committee’s findings against Frankel’s ad campaign.

According to the League of Women Voters, the Fair Elections Practices Committee was established by the League of Women Voters, and The Interfaith Alliance of Rochester, in order to promote issue-oriented and civil campaigning among candidates for public office.