Tonawanda News

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August 3, 2012

Witryol: Maziarz mailer 'misleading' voters

Tonawanda News — Democratic state Senate candidate Amy Hope Witryol took state Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, to task Thursday for using public funds to send out a mailer promoting his support for a law that’s already on the books at the federal level. 

She called the literature, which touts Maziarz’s vote in favor of the Public Assistance Integrity Act aimed at ending abuses in the welfare system, a political ploy that “may well violate laws intended to prevent elected officials from using public money for private purposes.” 

“It’s time to end the job-killing political corruption,” she said. 

Predictably, Maziarz sees the issue differently. Contacted by phone Thursday for his response, Maziarz said Witryol’s accusations were just another in a long line of erroneous accusations, including a lawsuit she has filed over Maziarz’s attempt gain the backing of the Working Families Party — normally a Democratic stronghold — and attempts to tie him to the hazardous waste industry. 

“She is a desperate candidate,” he said. “She is wrong in that I get a mail budget like every other Senate member and we passed this (welfare reform) legislation with the support of Gov. Cuomo and 56 out of 62 members.”

However Witryol, posted in front of North Tonawanda City Hall with a small group of supporters in Mazarz’s hometown, said she has sent a Freedom of Information request to the senator’s office seeking additional details on the mailers. She also believes that because the mailers were sent from his Lockport office, the literature may have violated state law. 

Witryol drew a comparison to a former Maziarz rival, ex-state Sen. Antoine Thompson, who was criticized for using taxpayer funds to create and distribute a book touting his accomplishments in the heat of a political campaign.

“When you receive official communication from a member of the New York state Senate on your dime you would expect it to be professional and for the benefit of the public,” Witryol said. 

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