Sunday, February 25, 2018

A Times Union Story Puts A Sour Note In The  Republican Primary For Rensselaer County Executive

September 12, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

By Doug La Rocque
On Saturday, September 2, The Albany based Times Union newspaper ran a front page story in which they reported that tapes they obtained, and made by a female staffer of Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin, contained vulgar language directed toward her, and alleged physical contact. That newspaper also interviewed the unnamed staffer.
In the article she is quoted however, as saying contrary to what she said on the tape, McLaughlin has never physically harmed her.
McLaughlin emphatically denies ever physically touching the aide, but he did concede he had made several vulgar remarks to her. The aide also said in the story, that she and the Assemblyman often had such heated conversations, but is quoted as saying “there is nothing to them” and that “you (The TU) are going to ruin a guy’s political career.”  During the interviews, she told the newspaper she was in fear of losing her job, and that is why she made the recordings. She remains on the Assembly payroll, though she provided documentation that she is currently on medical leave.
McLaughlin is locked in a primary battle with current Deputy County Executive Chris Meyer, who he said in a statement to the Times Union, is responsible for the disclosure of the recordings.  In a statement to The Eastwick Press, McLaughlin said, “it was a hatchet job by the Times Union and my opponent pushed it and now lies about it.”  Meyer said in a statement, “I am disgusted by my opponents actions. At the minimum the treatment of a staff person in this manner is indefensible.  Frankly I find it frightening that he is in a position to supervise anyone.”
The winner of next week’s primary will face Democrat Andrea Smyth in November’s general election. Smyth also put out a statement on the article in which she said her thoughts turn toward the victim, who she hopes would consider filing a complaint with the State Assembly so the case can be referred to outside counsel and an investigation can ensue.  She also said in her statement, “Lastly, while I choose to hope such victimization was not undertaken for political purposes, McLaughlin’s allegations toward the Meyer camp are troubling.  Women in this country reject insincere sympathy when it is offered in response to reprehensible victimization undertaken for political gain.”
It should be noted that the Times Union never identified the person or persons responsible for giving them the tapes in the first place.
The primary is Tuesday, September 12. The polls across the County are open from noon until 9 pm.


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