Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

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November 19th, 2010

Wilkinson confronts campaign allegations

Unfortunately, there are those who refuse to put the elections behind and are levying charges of anti-Semitism against the Democratic Committee.

If you recall, a mailing depicting County Court Judge elect Michael McGuire speaking before a group of summer Hassidic residents in Brooklyn attempted to lead voters into believing he was hypocritical seeking their support because he fought summer Hasidic residents from voting in Bethel.

As someone who is Jewish and has stood up his entire life for tolerance and respect of all people, I honestly do not believe this mailing was anti-Semitic. For anyone to politically grandstand and insinuate it was makes light of real anti-Semitism and hatred.

Democratic Chairman Steven Wilkinson says the mailer was not intended to inflame religious tensions but was instead intended to expose hypocrisy, and I believe him.

Wilkinson told me, “As a gay citizen in this wonderful county, I am very sensitive to any issue which demeans any group or would inflame tensions. I apologize to those who viewed this in a negative light. That was never the intent.”

The Hasidim McGuire visited in Brooklyn, accompanied by Sheriff Michael Schiff and Under Sheriff Eric Chaboty, are good civic minded people. Perhaps they should have invited Cindy Barber and David Sager to their political forums to at least give the appearance their playing field was even.

This year’s elections included all sorts of attacks stemming from Republicans and Democrats. Political committees have the unsavory task of taking on issues many people might classify as negative.

The repulsive mailers attacking Sager made it appear as if he was a criminal, and those were paid for by the NYS Republican Committee. Why didn’t any Republicans denounce them?

“Let’s put this election in perspective. Many, many negative ads were run on radio against Mrs. Barber paid for by the Republican Committee, they were not responded to because we felt the public had had enough,” Wilkinson said.

Republican attack ads featured Chairman Richard Coombe, former Liberty Judge Richard Herring, State Police PBA President Tom Mungeer, amongst others.

“The Republican Committee publically accused Mrs. Barber and the Democratic Committee of “stealing documents from our College” and “being in possession of stolen property.” A fact that was clearly refuted by Publisher Fred Stabbert in his excellent response to all the charges and counter charges that appeared in the October 29th edition.” Wilkinson questioned, “Where’s the outrage for this reckless charge against Mrs. Barber and the Democratic Committee?”

Discussing the molestation ads, Wilkinson said the parents wanted their voices and concerns heard, and board members who met with them agreed.

It was clarified the father’s letter misstated the way in which the victim “liking it” was stated/implied. “The DA’s summation at the trial indicated that Barber’s opponent said the girl liked it, not twice but more likely four times during the trial.”

Wilkinson said specific decisions relating to campaigns cannot be made by a committee composed of 126 members because “many have split loyalties.”

I would like to thank Steve Wilkinson for his heartfelt honesty. It is now time for everyone to move on.

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