Monday, February 4, 2019



Dutchess Dems launch telephone poll against Molinaro

POUGHKEEPSIE – A telephone poll being conducted by the Dutchess County Democratic Committee (DCDC) has drawn the ire of Dutchess County's GOP Chairman, Michael McCormack and evoked a response from County Executive Marcus Molinaro.

The poll asks if the respondent approves of the jobs being done by Republican County Executive Molinaro and Democrat County Comptroller Robin Lois. It also makes 'pay-to-play' allegations, asks about three potential Democratic challengers to Molinaro, and implies that the New York State Attorney General is investigating Molinaro. It also asks if the respondent approves of the jobs being done by President Trump and Governor Cuomo.

According to the poll, "72 different companies gave nearly $400,000 in donations to county politicians and in return they received $82 million in government contracts." 

The survey asks if the respondent would support or oppose a law prohibiting companies who have government contracts from making political donations to county elected officials. 

Previously the Dutchess County Democratic Committee filed a complaint with the Dutchess County Board of Ethics with claims of wrongdoing by Molinaro.  The complaint alleged that Molinaro's wife was given a 'no-show' job by Tinkelman Brothers Development Corp. while also donating $6,800 to Molinaro's gubernatorial campaign and in return, received tax breaks for projects they were developing. 

In December the board unanimously found that the allegations were unfounded and the case was dismissed.

Regarding the investigation by the Attorney General's office, the poll asks "if you learned that the New York State Attorney General has an active investigation into County Executive Molinaro for public corruption would you vote to re-elect Molinaro or vote for someone else?" has not been able to confirm that the office is conducting an investigation. 

The County's GOP Chairman Michael McCormack said of the poll "it's despicable, a lie and an utter disgrace.  Voters deserve to know who's responsible and hold them accountable." 

Requests for comments to County Democratic Chairwoman Elisa Sumner were not returned.

Molinaro dismissed the poll in its entirety saying "my experience is that voters do a really good job in sorting out the truth from lies like these."

The poll also mentions three hypothetical matchups for the upcoming county executive race.  One question asks who the respondent would vote for in a race between Molinaro and Comptroller Robin Lois while the second asks about a race between Molinaro and Karen Smythe, former candidate for New York State Senate while the third pits Molinaro against New York State Bridge Authority Executive Director Joseph Ruggiero, who previously served as Town of Wappinger supervisor.  The poll closes with a statement saying that it was paid for by DCDC.


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