Thursday, April 26, 2007

Override Blunders Continue

In addition to having a fan who arrogantly breaks the law by stealing opponents lawn signs, the we-need-to-pay-more-taxes coalition also violated state law last Monday by not filing with the Amherst Town Clerk their Campaign Finance Report, due eight days prior to the May 1’st Election (a “special” election costing taxpayers $12,000 simply to hold).

Although ‘Save Amherst Schools Ballot Committee’ did file on time (as did ‘Amherst Taxpayers For Responsible Change’), the main proponent of increased taxation ‘The Amherst Plan Committee’ failed to file their disclosure report. Interestingly Rick Hood is a leader on both committees.

And by “main” committee I mean they will sponsor a giant “Signature Ad” (effective only if you have 1,500 names) in tomorrow’s Amherst Bulletin costing well in excess of $1,000.

Campaign Finance Law is kind of like the Open Meeting Law, which shines a light on activity, not on what government does but what private individuals do who wish to influence government.

If I were a pro-Override person (and obviously I'm not) I would now be wondering what else have they botched?


dianars said...

It is true that the Amherst Plan Committee failed to file its financial report, but you are not in possession of all the facts - there's a surprise.
I am the Treasurer of the Amherst Plan Committee - as it is well known given the harassing phone call I received from a "no" voter - and it was my responsibility to field the report. I returned from school vacation early Monday morning with the understanding that I had to file the report that day. I had, however, not seen the actual report until that day, and when I opened the envelope the first thing I saw was the typed and highlighted notation at the top: REPORT DUE: APRIL 26, 2007. Not being one to queston authority, I immediately concluded that I could turn my attention to the multitude of other tasks awaiting me after a week away.
I did not realize my error until after 5 o'clock on Monday, and promptly on Tuesday morning went to Town Hall and consulted with Sandra Burgess, who concluded that shw had sent me the wrong form with the wrong dates, and assured me there would be no problem as long as I turned it in within a couple of days.
I have apologized to Mr. Hood who had nothing to do with this, and I find your conclusion of some evildoing on his or the Amherst Plan Committee's part rather contemptuous. Furthermore, either you knew all this already and are are just muckraking, or you didn't bother to speak with Ms. Burgess and jumped to your own conclusions. I made an honest mistake, Ms. Burgess made an honest mistake - can you say the same?
Diana Spurgin

LarryK4 said...

Well, the other two Committees had no problem figuring things out. And Mr. Hood is also involved with 'The Amherst Plan' (should be called the 'Finance Committee Plan’) is he not?

"Harassing" phone calls, like sign theft, is illegal.

Did you file a complaint with the police or Phone Company? Do you have caller ID and can you ID the person?

Because I can assure you, if they are associated with 'Amherst Taxpayers For Responsible Change' they will be declared persona non grata within that organization.

So you knew early Tuesday morning you were in violation and it is now Thursday 9:05 am and you probably still have not filed the report. As Chinese bureaucrats would say “chop, chop”!

Jeff said...

I enjoy your blog so much more when you report the news (like Stephanie O'K does), rather than when you're carrying on about the golf course (again...), the YES folks, the Finance Committee (Disclosure: my wife is a member), or whoever is the object of your anger on a particular day. While this is your blog, not mine, you want to keep the people satisfied, or they'll stop coming, Larry.

Now, about this stolen signs issue. I always thought that the police look for motive first? What would the motive be for a YES person to steal NO signs. He/she can't use them, and everybody knows by now that it would result in negative publicity for the YES campaign (disclosure statement: I am a supporter, because the Finance Committee and others have worked very hard to devise a plan that maintains a fair amount of what makes people want to live in Amherst in the first place). Seems like from a motive point of view, the only people with motive would be members of the NO side of the aisle, and the added benefit for them is that they would be able to recycle those "stolen" signs onto other lawns. Of course, I'm not an expert on these things.

LarryK4 said...

First off, we have not been “able to recycle” the missing signs because they were STOLEN! Your obnoxious inference that we perpetrated this deed for our own benefit is like the charge that women scream rape for their own personal gain

I actually spent a fair amount of time dumpster diving to discover if they were disposed of in that routine manner. A shower or two later, I gave up.

Yes, as of dawns early light you will see MANY more signs of the angry yellow/black bees shouting “No More Overrides” than ever, simply because we reordered more with a company that can react as fast as we can. Wouldn’t it be great if government could do the same?

Marcy Sala said...

What a hoot to read Larry Kelley complaining about someone else's "obnoxious inference". Were you able to type that with a straight face Larry?

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, as a matter of fact I was…although it has been hard to remove the smile on my face these past 48 hours or so.

Jeff B's absurd allegation was obnoxious for two reasons: (1) it infers that we would engage in illegal conduct and (2) that I'm completely naive and stupid to do (1).

And as we creep closer to the election and there are no Pro-Override lawn signs, the average person is going to think (1) How overconfident were they not to order lawn signs and (2) since their campaign is now in total disarray maybe one of their supporters tried the easy way to neutralize their oppositions use of a standard campaign device.

Marcy Sala said...

Though it appears lost on him, the irony of Larry taking a stand against "obnoxious inference" (not to mention "absurd accusation") continues.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, Marcy go ahead and waste my bandwidth.

Don't you guys have a campaign to run? I, on the other hand, just returned from erecting 27 lawn signs. (Even got to have a nice chat with Jere Hochman).

And I'm so sure average folks really have sympathy for your Treasurer (who started this whiny string of comments) for taking a week's vacation at the height of an important battle.