Harding Democrats Denounce Untruthful Claims by Republican Candidates

Allen and Barry for Township Committee
Press Release, November 6, 2017
HARDING TWP. — Amanda Richardson, campaign manager for Democratic Township Committee candidates Rhonda Allen and Kate Barry, today demanded that Mayor Chris Yates and Township Committee member Dev Modi retract and apologize for untruthful statements made in a campaign flier they signed, mailed and were personally distributing to Harding voters this weekend.
“We are proud of the positive campaign that Rhonda and Kate have run, making an affirmative case for the benefits of a two-party system, civil discourse, inclusion and open government,” said Richardson.
“Our campaign mailing to Harding voters last week was completely positive in keeping with the civility that has been and should be a core value of our close-knit community,” she said. “That is why it was so disheartening to see Yates and Modi resort not only to negative campaigning, but to despicable scare tactics and spreading lies about our candidates that are easily disproven — and to stubbornly stick to those  untruths when confronted by residents at the post office on Saturday.”
“Yates and Modi untruthfully assert that we ‘support Fair Share Housing’s objectives’ to build ‘300 affordable housing units and that the entire town be rezoned for high density housing, a prospect that would invite developers to build apartment blocks throughout our town.’ They know this to be false. They were sitting only five feet away during the October 18 debate when Kate Barry clearly explained that we believe that Harding’s allotment can and should be negotiated down. More than sixty Township residents attended and heard her,” Richardson said.
Long Hill Township was able to cut its affordable housing number by about 75% by getting credit for units already built and by pointing out that part of their town — like our Township — is located in the Great Swamp or on wetlands, she noted.
“What Kate and Rhonda did say is that we should make sure that any affordable housing built meets the needs of our own seniors and millennials, which we believe is important,” Richardson said.
“As to the Glen Alpin diversion, our candidates said the strategy was worth pursuing, but it was not a sure thing, and they have called for a referendum to go to Township voters before any irrevocable decision is made by the Township Committee to move forward on demolition of this historic house,” she said.
“Yates and Modi go on to assert that our candidates’ alleged ‘support of Fair Share  Housing’s objectives and their lack of support for resolving the Glen Alpin issue would lead to significant expenditures and tax increases.’ It is reprehensible that they would make false claims about our positions on affordable housing and Glen Alpin, and then use those falsehoods to assert that our candidates are in favor of raising taxes. Keeping Harding’s property taxes low is one of our principal campaign promises,” she said.

“Yates and Modi go on to assert that our candidates ‘have taken positions that threaten to destroy the very fabric of our town.’ Nothing could further from the truth. Kate and Rhonda live and work here, and the Barry and Allen families have been part of the fabric of our town for a combined 120 years — more than five times as long as the Republicans they are running against,” Richardson said.

“Yates and Modi owe the voters an apology for putting out such an untruthful press release. Putting out a false press release when it is too late for us to respond with a mailing to voters setting the record straight may win them a few extra votes in the short run, but it will affect their credibility in the long run. If we can’t trust them to be honest during the campaign, how can we trust them in office?” she asked. “A false attack like this is the best argument for why we also need Democrats or independents as watchdogs on the Township Committee. It is negative campaign scare tactics like this that ‘threaten to destroy the very fabric of our town.'”

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