04 November, 2006

Sweeney Picks Up One, Loses One Local Newspaper Endorsement In Wake Of Domestic Flap

You win some, you lose some. And so it is today with embattled congressman John Sweeney.

Sweeney today received one local newspaper endorsement for his be for re-election in New york's 20th District, and had another endorsement rescinded over the flap about an alleged domestic abuse case investigated at his home last December.

The Saratogian today endorsed Sweeney in his race against Democratic challenger Kirstin Gillibrand. The newspaper endorsed Sweeney despite this observation it made on its editorial page:

"And while we think an elected official's domestic troubles are his private business, we find it unsettling that Sweeney would first discount a 911 domestic dispute call to his home, then promise to make the police report public, and then refuse to make it public. A satisfactory response from the start could have been 'this was a private matter that my wife and I resolved privately: his actual response raises questions about whether Sweeney is true to his word."

And despite this assertion by the Saratogian: "Last but not least, the public deserved a clean, informative campaign in this important race. This was the nastiest, dirtiest campaign in memory. Ads were full of deceptive stretches of the truth at best. Sweeney's contention that he was forced to take potshots at Gillibrand because she was taking potshots at him is like a kid crying, 'She started it!' C'mon."

Meanwhile, the recent revelations have caused the Glens Falls Post-Star to withdraw its endorsement of Sweeney.

"In our editorial endorsing the congressman for re-election last Sunday, we pointed out the many flaws in Congressman Sweeney's character, including his accompanying lobbyists to exotic locations, fabricating lies about his political opponents, and using poor judgement in attending frat parties. We said voters should take those factors into consideration, but that the congressman's record in helping secure funding for his district and voting in Republican interests overrode concerns about his unofficial conduct. His response to this (the domestic violence call) incident reflects disturbingly not only on his character, but on his credibility to serve effectively as a representative of all the people."

We haven't reported on this issue because it is not possible to cover a story as sensative as this fairly from a home PC some 120 miles away. We've left that up to organizations with the right resources to do the job. For a complete file on this story, we suggest you check Capitol Confidential, the political blog of the Albany Times-Union. Here's the blog's complete file on the story.

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