Friday, October 5, 2018



Departing Dutchess elections commissioner files complaint

POUGHKEEPSIE – Outgoing Dutchess County Democratic Elections Commissioner Marco Caviglia filed a complaint against Republican Assembly candidate Will Truitt.

Truitt, a Republican county legislator is running against Assemblywoman Didi Barrett who represents the 106th Assembly District.  Prior to the September primary election for the Independence Party line – both were seeking to secure it – Truitt allegedly handed out campaign literature and had at least two billboards in Hyde Park declaring that he was the Independence Party candidate. 

The Hyde Park Democrats pointed it out in a post on their Facebook page and declared that Truitt's actions were illegal.  Truitt responded publicly by saying that "the billboard design was created a few weeks ago by a friend prior to the IND primary results being official" and indicated that his campaign was in the process of correcting the billboards and literature.  That statement was issued on September 29th.

Shortly after Truitt's public comments, Mid-Hudson News learned that Caviglia, as Democratic Elections commissioner filed a complaint with the state Board of Elections accusing Truitt of violating the Fair Campaign Code by misrepresenting that he has the Independence line on the ballot. 

The complaint says "The subject literature misrepresents that candidate Truitt has secured multiple nominations, including the Independence Party nomination, which is a material misrepresentation and would tend to dissuade Independence Party voters from casting a vote in the Primary Election thinking that it was already determined or otherwise causing confusion or apathy, and falsely advertises that the Independence Party has selected him to have its line on the ballot in the General Election."

Caviglia's complaint cites the Fair Campaign Code which says that "no person or committee during the course of any campaign for nomination to public office will, directly or indirectly, by means of campaign literature, media advertisements, press releases or writings engage in or commit political practices involving subversion or undermining of political parties or the electoral process including but not limited to any fraudulent writing." 

Caviglia's complaint was sent via email to the Enforcement Division of the state board. 

When contacted about the complaint, Risa Sugarman, chief enforcement counsel, Division of Election Law Enforcement for the state board, responded "Pursuant to amendments of the regulations, complaints under the Fair Campaign code must be submitted to the counsel for the Board of Elections, Brian Quail and Kimberly Galvin."  Several attempts to contact Commissioner Caviglia or Deputy Commissioner Dan Miller to ask whether they knew of the complaint being sent to the wrong department were unsuccessful.

When told of the complaint Truitt replied "I am unaware of any complaint filed against my campaign. Frankly we are running a robust campaign directed towards victory so any complaint would be a poor attempt at distracting the public from my work ethic."  When pressed about the literature and billboards he said "we are in the process of correcting the billboards, 'Independence' will be changed to state 'Women's Equality' and new literature/palm cards have been printed and will be in use once I receive them."


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