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Burke ‘fudges’ on his age; Doheny signs ‘taxpayer protection pledge’

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The Adirondack Daily Enterprise reported this morning that 21st Congressional District candidate Stephen W. Burke, a Macomb Democrat, lied about his age when he announced his challenge to Aaron G. Woolf, Elizabethtown.

The Enterprise story said that Mr. Burke is 77, based on data on file at the St. Lawrence County Board of Elections. He told the Enterprise, the Times and several other newspapers he was 67 when he entered the race. The Board of Elections gives his date of birth as Nov. 13, 1936.

When an Enterprise reporter asked him about the disparity, he claimed he wasn’t lying about his age, and attributed the statement to “wishful thinking” when he told reporters he was 67.

Mr. Burke has something of a history of aging at a rate not normally attributed to Earth. In a story in the Times in October 1998, he gave his (correct) age as 61. In August of 2001, he said he was 62 (he was 64). In January of 2002, he gave his age as 62 (he was 65).

Mr. Burke will have to get 1,250 signatures of registered Democrats by Thursday to get on the June 24 primary ballot. He told the Enterprise he already has that many signatures, but other candidates in the race have noted they were striving to exceed the minimum number of signatures by a substantial margin to stave off likely challenges.

Both parties and several candidates have law firms on call to challenge petitions once they are filed.

Mr. Burke also told the Enterprise that he has raised no cash for his campaign and has financed his efforts out of his own pockets to date.

Read the story at



While Mr. Burke was battling the battle with the calendar, Republican candidate for the 21st CD seat Matthew A. Doheny engaged in a battle with the tax man.

In a news release from his campaign team, Mr. Doheny announced he has signed the Americans for Tax Reform’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

Calling the pledge a commitment to “a fairer, simpler and less onerous tax code,” Mr. Doheny said in the release “The tax burden is literally stifling our economy and no one feels the weight more than the hard working families of New York. Young people, retirees and businesses alike are fleeing our state in record numbers due to its crushing burden. I’m honored to reaffirm my pledge and promise that when elected I will fight to reduce the tax burden from Washington.”

Yesterday, the Tax Foundation issued a report that listed New York state as having the highest tax burden in the nation.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t need the Tax Foundation to tell us New York is a tax hell, just ask any small business or homeowner,” Mr. Dohenysaid in the release.“The cumulative federal, state and local tax burden has a huge impact on take home pay. It’s not only killing jobs but it’s corrosive to the entrepreneurial spirit that the North Country embodies.”

Americans for Tax Reform was formed by staunch conservative Grover Norquist in 1985. Since then, scores of Republican candidates have signed the pledge.

The release notes that the organization’s pledge is “a bedrock principle of House Republicans,” with 219 or more 95 percent signing it.

Mr. Doheny said lowering taxes is only part of his goal.

“It’s not enough to just be against higher taxes, America needs a simpler and fairer tax code,” he said in the release. “In Congress, I will fight to put an end to the special interest loopholes and gimmicks that favor Washington insiders and their elite pals.”


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