Rockland County Executive candidate and Suffern Mayor Dagan Lacorte, who publicly apologized for a proposed campaign rules and issue forums for the race. Lacorte sent a message intended for his campaign manager to one of his Democratic opponents, David Fried. The text directed Lacorte’s campaign manager to question Fried about his position on certain issues and find out the financial status of his campaign.
In a prepared statement, Lacorte said his error “obligates him to raise the level of discourse in what is already a rough and tumble campaign.”
Lacorte noted, “This mistake has heightened my obligation to run an issue-based campaign worthy of the wonderful community I seek to lead."
He said a united Democratic Party was necessary to win the election and that he would support the winner of the Democratic Primary. Although Lacorte proposed several campaign rules, he has not provided them directly to his opponents.
“He hasn’t contacted us about them,” said Stephen Papas, the campaign manager for Democratic candidate David Fried.
Papas said Fried’s campaign has not received any information about the proposed through a phone call, email or text message. He added the New York State Board of Elections already adopted the campaign ethics being proposed. (A copy is attached to this article.)
Republican candidate and County Legislator Ed Day said, “I saw the press release. I have received no communication from Mr. Lacorte or anyone attached to his campaign.”
Democratic candidate and County Legislator Ilan Schoenberger could not be reached for comment.
The suggested guidelines are:
- Establish a Fair Campaign Practices Board to rule on the accuracy of mailings and TV ads
- Adopt the federal campaign finance disclosure model with an additional quarterly disclosure on April 15th to inform the public prior to party nominating conventions
- No personal attacks on candidates, their supporters or constituencies
Lacorte suggested holding issues forums with press and public questions and answers in each of Rockland's towns, starting in February. Each forum would focus on a different topic-- taxes, environment, social issues, transportation and infrastructure, education and health care.
"I have sharp differences with my opponents, particularly on the county budget, and each of us has public voting records that deserve scrutiny,” Lacorte said.
Papas said Fried spoke at the Rockland Water Coalition’s Tuesday forum on the proposed water desalination plant and his position.
“He wants to have a debate on desalination,” said Papas, adding that Fried opposes the Hudson River Water Treatment Plant proposed for West Haverstraw because he believes the data relied upon is incomplete.
Day said his positions on issues facing Rockland are documented on his Facebook Page including his opposition to the Patrick Farms proposal that he sent to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.