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You Paid For It: Politicians' "Newsletters"

3:17 PM, Jul 25, 2012   |    comments
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Buffalo, N.Y. - Both Senator Tim Kennedy and Assemblyman Sean Ryan are facing tough Democratic primaries in September.

And last week, less than two months before primary day, residents in their districts received mail from them - mail that taxpayers paid for.

In fact, Ryan has sent three such newsletters over the past six weeks.

Some deal with programs like prescription drugs for seniors, but one had a list of summer festivals on one side and Ryan's accomplishments on the other.

Scott Brown: "This one talking about accomplishments of yours coming two months before primary day shouldn't you pay for this as opposed to taxpayers?"

Assemblyman Sean Ryan: "There's very important information in there, it talked about some of the very important things we got done, especially Scott if these are things that people can avail themselves to but they have to make a step to do that."

"I have a message for Sean Ryan and all of these Albany politicians, it's called the Internet," said Kevin Gaughan, Ryan's primary opponent.

Scott Brown: "If you were to win election would you do none of these mailings?"

Kevin Gaughan: "Under no circumstances- during a campaign, not during a campaign, I would never ever ask taxpayers to pay for a mailing to communicate with constituents."

Kennedy sent out what he called a "Community Action Survey" that cost taxpayers $18,000.

The first question to his constituents: "what did they feel was the most pressing issue facing the state?"

Scott Brown: "Jobs and the economy right? You're in the district all the time, is there a need to send out a survey to ask that question?"

Senator Tim Kennedy: "Well if you go through them not all of them are jobs and the economy. There's unemployment, taxes, economic conditions facing New Yorkers, there are a lot of issues that are quality of life issues that are discussed with this survey."

Kennedy points out that he's received a large number of responses to his survey and that he spends the least of any Western New York senator on such mailings.

But there was an irony that was hard to miss, in order to answer the same survey that Kennedy sent out at taxpayer expense, his constituents needed to spend the money to put a stamp on it.

Neither Ryan nor Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's office returned our calls trying to determine how much Ryan's three mailings cost taxpayers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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