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Jeff Beals is true progressive choice for NY-19

In a letter to the editor, Steve Dunda writes: "Jeff Beal's diplomatic work under both Republican and Democratic administrations will help Republicans and Democrats work together."

To the editor:

Is it really possible that all seven candidates for the NY-19 Democratic Congressional primary are equally “progressive,” and equally believe in “getting big money out of politics?”

Antonio Delgado’s huge lobbying firm contributed $143,565. He earned $329,000 in 2016 and $217,000 through July 2017 working as a corporate lawyer representing corporate clients for the largest lobbying firm in the country. His assets total $990,000. He moved to upscale Rhinebeck, where many rich New York City residents have second homes, just last year and was able to afford a $539,500 house. He wasn’t even a Democrat until after he moved to Rhinebeck! He had quit the party in 2014 while living in New Jersey. So far I have received 10 huge, multipage glossy campaign brochures from him.

The New Democrat Coalition PAC, which supports “business-friendly conservative Democrats,” supports Pat Ryan. Ryan’s super PAC, “With Honor,” was busted for calling voters to bash Delgado. At Berico, Ryan tried selling spying technology to business lobbyists to monitor Democratic activists and labor unions. He, too, has sent me 10 expensive campaign brochures.

Brian Flynn made big money while holding lucrative CEO positions at four major corporations, closed his Buffalo factory, and moved his employees to North Carolina and the Dominican Republic. His former coworker is being sued for fraud and civil conspiracy. And — you guessed it — 10 expensive brochures from him. The Albany Times Union reports: “Flynn is a fairly new full-time resident to Elka Park, a hamlet in Greene County. On his campaign website, both the residency and jobs issues were once addressed at length, but those explanations have been removed. Candidates’ residency histories are of secondary concern for voters, he said. ‘That doesn’t matter,’ Flynn said. ‘What have you done in life? What are you going to do for me?’ When President Donald Trump was elected in November 2016, Flynn was still only registered to vote at an apartment in Manhattan, a borough where he had been a voter for many years. He changed his registration to his current Greene County address on November 29, 2016.” His website currently states that he was born in Rochester and grew up in New Jersey so, apparently, he is referring to his grandparents and his great-uncle when he talks about “deep roots” in Greene County. I believe he is way too rich to relate to us working-class voters.

Rhodes actually brags that he worked for Cuomo! He also brags that he’s “the top grassroots fundraiser.” What he fails to mention is that Cuomo aides and ex-Obama staffers are fundraising for him. Also, Spectrum News and Politico have reported that Rhodes has dodged questions from the National Republican Campaign Committee to address the upcoming corruption trials of his former colleagues, including Cuomo “right-hand-man” Joe Percoco and three businessmen. Percoco, who Cuomo has called “My father’s third son,” has now been convicted on three charges. Dave Clegg — like Delgado, do we really want another lawyer in Congress? Dave is so nice, and thus I believe he underperformed in the debates. I can’t imagine him debating a bill in committee. His record of volunteer work, community service, and church work is longer than both of my arms, so I want to keep him here in Kingston to keep doing that great work, not waste his virtuousness in Washington! Erin Collier — see all seven candidates’ details at my website

The real progressive is Jeff Beals, the only candidate endorsed by the Justice Democrats, a national organization of former Bernie staffers working for a people’s platform using grassroots fundraising. They’ve endorsed 52 candidates nationwide from all backgrounds, creating a pre-formed caucus to run as a slate, to get money out of politics and create progressive legislation. Therefore, Congressman Jeff would have a coalition of representatives to work with! Jeff has 11 years of government experience. As a CIA analyst, he briefed Congress and wrote for President Clinton’s daily brief. As a decorated State Department diplomat fluent in Arabic, he worked many years in Iraq, creating the first diplomatic talks and helping to create an Iraqi constitution. Growing up he worked on a farm and is now a schoolteacher. Jeff’s diplomatic work under both Republican and Democratic administrations will help Republicans and Democrats work together.

Steve Dunda
Kingston, New York


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