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Loyalty clause suspended; Woolf connections probed

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The Glens Falls Post Star reports this morning that the Warren County Republican Committee has suspended the loyalty clause in its bylaws, which will allow members to circulate petitions for and support candidates the committee has not endorsed.

The chief beneficiary of the rule change is likely to be Matthew A. Doheny in his pursuit of the Republican nomination for the 21st Congressional District seat, being vacated by Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh. The committee was the first to endorse Elise M. Stefanik back in January, before Mr. Owens announced his intention to step down.

“We have endorsed Elise Stefanik, and the committee will circulate petitions for her,” Mr. Grasso told the Post Star. “But if anyone has strong feelings, we are not going to keep them from doing what they want. We have made a recommendation, but we are not going to penalize anyone for supporting Matt Doheny.”

Since it only takes 1,250 signatures on petitions to gain a spot in the likely Republican primary, the relaxation of the loyalty clause, which binds the entire committee to the candidate selected by the group, is more likely to have a symbolic impact on the race than a tangible effect. The likelihood of Mr. Doheny getting his required signatures has been largely assumed since he entered the race.

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Denton Publications, which publishes six community weekly newspapers in the eastern half of Northern New York, including the Valley News in Elizabethtown, had a revealing look at Aaron Woolf this week.

As with other efforts to write about the Democratic candidate for the 21st district seat, the papers had to do their story with no help from Mr. Woolf. But the story had some interesting facts:

nRecords obtained by the Valley News show Woolf registered to vote in Essex County on Feb. 7, 2014, five days before the chairs’ endorsement, the story reports.

nWoolf owns 151 acres on County Route 9 in Elizabethtown assessed at $465,000, the story says. Those holdings were legally deeded to he and Sara Woolf by Harry and Patricia Woolf on Dec. 29, 1994.

nAn “Aaron Woolf for Congress” Facebook page was set up on Feb. 12, the story reports. “I’m running to represent New York’s 21st Congressional District. Protecting the middle class, growing our economy, and investing in our children,” it states.

The Denton Publications story also indicates that at least some Democratic Party leaders may be getting irritated with Mr. Woolf’s secrecy.

The story quoted Warren County Democratic Committee Chair Lynne Boecher as saying “I have advised him to talk openly with the media. This very much indicates he’s a neophyte in this process.”

Read the story here: http://wdt.me/S8UPWA

The Adirondack Daily Enterprise’s editorial page today takes a shot at Mr. Woolf, suggesting he “buck up” and take his candidacy public. This despite the paper being contacted by Mr. Woolf’s campaign manager, who promised the paper an interview “next week” with the candidate.

Uh-huh.

Read the Enterprise editorial here: http://wdt.me/nCB36s

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The Stefanik campaign late yesterday in a news release announced the candidate’s support from the Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund.

“The Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund is proud to endorse such a principled and articulate pro-life leader in Elise Stefanik. We look forward to seeing Elise succeed in this historically pro-life district so that she may serve as a voice for women, unborn children, and pro-life taxpayers in Washington,” said SBA List Candidate Fund President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “Her energy, experience, and passion for promoting the dignity of each human life will make Elise an excellent addition to the House Pro-life Women’s Caucus.”

The endorsement, and its unstated promise of funding help, was not particularly surprising given Ms. Stefanik’s stated opposition to abortion. There appeared to be, however, a subtle shift by her campaign staff at the very end of the news release.

Ms. Stefanik “returned to New York and works in North Country sales, marketing and management at her family’s plywood products business,” the release ends. In some past releases, she worked in sales at her family’s business.

According to the Stefanik campaign, however, Ms. Stefanik has been listed as sales, marketing and management since she first entered the race. Some releases include all three tasks, some have not, campaign manager Matt Masterson said in an email. There has not, he said, been any change in her duties at the family firm.

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