In short, the Ramapo GOP boss is using his newly minted ‘Notary Public’ Ramapo GOP Committeeman to go out and collect petitions signatures for the Conservative and Independence party lines.
Also reported to be collecting signatures on behalf of Legislator Frank Sparaco is Ramapo GOP Committeeman Joe Gravagna. He was seen running around Clarkstown hawking signatures to get Sparaco and his associates back into the GOP Committee. He was described as “disheveled” and “mumbling” when asked questions about Legislator Sparaco. Sunday, June 29th, Sparaco was seen trying to collect petition signatures in Stony Point saying words to the effect; “It’s time for a change in Stony Point.”
After the signatures are collected on these other minor party lines for candidates like Donna Held, Michael Koplen, and Matt Brennan; they have to negotiate for the “Wilson-Pakula” permission to run on that line from Conservative party bosses, like highly controversial Clarkstown employee and Reda pal, Ed Lettre.
Conservative Party boss Ed Lettre was vociferous at a recent GOP fundraiser while heckling the presentation of an endorsement to a GOP candidate in an ungentlemanly fashion while sitting at the same table as Reda. His break with customary public decorum dominated many of the elected officials in the room into meek, subservient silence because they vie for his approval to run on the Conservative line more than they value the honor of earning a Republican endorsement.
These party lines are insignificant to Rockland County elections as they have yet to clinch a decisive vote. These lines mostly play the role of spoiler, drawing votes away from a GOP candidate in favor of their opponent.
Also, reporting to the Rockland Voice on condition of anonymity, are registered Republicans who refuse to sign the petitions. Collectively saying: “I am not signing these, you’re all a bunch of crooks, you vote out one bunch and vote in another bunch, they’re all the same.”
One said: ” I don’t know these people.” while another commented: “Please, no more pink lawn signs”, referring to Donna Held signs used by her in the last election. Others sign the petitions reluctantly to help a particular petition carrier but will not be voting for the candidate on the petition. “I’ll sign this for you, cause I know you have a job to do, but I won’t vote for any of them, as long as Reda, Axelrod and this bunch are there.” Committeeman candidates and candidates for office are stating: “I would run, if it weren’t for Reda; he helps the opponent instead of our candidate.”
Many GOP Committeemen have simply refused to participate. At the last Ramapo GOP Committee meeting barely 8 people showed up for the crucial time of petition carrying. “People have had it with these guys”, stated one GOP committeeman repeating what he was told while carrying petitions door to door. “Don’t get me wrong, I am a proud Republican, and unapologetic Republican, but from what I hear and see from these people, like Reda, Sparaco, and Axelrod in my town, I refuse to be associated with them.”
A Clarkstown Committeeman called Rockland Voice editorial staff and said: “I was at the Clarkstown GOP meeting, and it was another total waste of my time. Bob [Axelrod] was droning on about Sparaco, all panicked. Yet, he was the guy before that pushing Sparaco and Reda in order to stop new leadership from taking over in 2012, I just can’t take these two-faced people anymore.”
Clarkstown GOP Chairman Bob Axelrod, long time ally of Reda and Sparaco is suddenly pleading with Republicans not to sign petitions for Sparaco. These are indicators that demonstrate the Rockland County GOP committee are mindlessly destroying the GOP brand, while asking rank and file Republicans to help them do it. That is like setting a house on fire from within and asking one to come in and bring more gasoline.
It seems there is a trend within the Rockland GOP that committee rank and file people are walking away from the present party leadership. Many are refusing to carry petitions, others are making little attempt to seek out signatures, while others did not receive any petitions because they are unwelcome by the Party Bosses.
Attempting to avert mounting criticism, Reda fearful of his impending removal, needed a place holder candidate to run for NYS Assembly against Democrat Assemblyman Zebrowski and Democrat Senator Carlucci. At the last-minute Reda convinced Matt Brennan to agree, attached with the promise he would run him for Rockland County Sheriff against Democrat Sheriff Falco. He also found Donna Held’s ‘exuberant willingness’ as her prime qualification to run against Senator Carlucci.
One small problem is that Reda is alleged to have made the same promise to Clarkstown Committeeman Richard Vasquez, to run him for Sheriff as a token Latino candidate. However, adding to that wrinkle is the fact that Richard Vasquez is also a member of the Latino National Republican Coalition of Rockland County. Reda wants him to resign from that organization and distance himself from the LNRC membership. When Vasquez was made aware of this potential trifecta he indicated he didn’t believe it commenting: “I’ll ask Brennan.”
In a phone conversation, between Latino National Republican Coalition New York State Chairman Ruben Estrada and Vasquez, the latter was pressed on the question as to whether or not he intended on resigning from the LNRC and Vasquez responded: “No.” LNRC NYS Chairman Ruben Estrada stated his position to Rockland Voice on the issue of tokenism: “We do not accept, support, or promote tokenism in the Republican Party or LNRC. We support candidates based on their merit and intact moral compass.” He continued; “I have every confidence that the LNRC Rockland County chapter doors are wide open to any displaced Republican looking for a place where the loyal opposition party is alive and well.”
An informed electorate, which we believe the readers of Rockland Voice to be, is the first line of defense against political shenanigans. Therefore when petitioners come knocking on your door, ask questions, get answers, before giving away your valuable signature to place a candidate on the ballot who you would not vote as not representing your moral and ethical principles. Make them earn your signature, and value your vote. Some have shown us in the past that they are prepared to back-stab their own colleagues; what do you think they will do should you entrust them with public office?