To the editor:

The North Country has an integrity and ethics deficit. This leadership gap ranges from the bottom to the top. For this exercise, the focus is on the local political committee.

Is it ethical for a Democratic Party chair to have a sexual relationship with a political candidate within their district (and vice versa)? No.

Is it ethical for a Democratic Party chair to file criminal charges against a political candidate within their district and sit in piety and judgement over the accused? No. Is it ethical for a Democratic Party chair to maintain a county position while living in another state? No. Is it ethical for a Democratic Party chair to violate bylaws to promote one primary candidate over another? No. There is no "personal preference," as an exception to the written rule, and there should not be. This is an “escape clause” to wield their power in a primary election and should be removed, as it is counter-intuitive to the written bylaw. Is it ethical for a Democratic Party chair to release internal emails to a group of misogynist, hate mongering, right-wing bloggers in an attempt to discredit, disparage, silence and ruin the reputations of constituents who speak out against the inequities of leadership exhibited by the executive committee? No. Is it ethical for the leaders of the Democratic Party to host a confirmed abusive individual, who serves no one but himself (Alec Baldwin), and yet kick to the curb an individual who has served them well based on mere, unproven accusations from a jilted lover? No.

With all of their faults (positioning, politicizing petty problems and prolific whining on Fakebook), I do not see the local GOP conducting themselves in the same manner. They seem to be focused on the mechanics of winning elections with a central coalition of active members, who out-politic the local Democratic Party via signage, communication and collaboration.

For these reasons, the local Democratic “avengers” will languish until their leadership component is wiped squeaky clean. The vice chair, a political operative from Massachusetts, has a revolving door to the executive committee, where he resigns, and resigns to resign, on a monthly basis, while lining his pockets from the Bernie Sanders payroll. The chair offers no solutions and little effort in her capacity as the leader of the local party and has been sluggish and ineffective for the past three years. I have never seen her knock on a door, work a phone bank, nor host campaign volunteers in her home.

Ted Bosen and Emily Stone Jacobs need a permanent vacation from their roles as the gatekeepers to Democratic success. It is time for a change and a time to establish a core of leaders who are committed to the work required to win elections, not a commitment to corruption and self-aggrandizement through party position.

Elizabeth Ruediger


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