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Orange Democrats blunder, recognize Doles not Purcell.

Orange Democrats blunder, recognize Doles not Purcell.

In planning for its upcoming annual dinner, Orange Democrats made an enormous blunder by deciding to recognize Town of Monroe Supervisor Harley Doles among the 50 Democrats holding office in the county, but forgetting any mention of Village of Monroe Mayor James Purcell.

Orange DemocratsThe question was raised in social media by Monroe residents who received word that Doles would “be honored” by the Orange County Democratic Committee at its annual gala and requested clarification. When none was forthcoming, the story became gradually more viral, and responses from party leaders fell short of addressing concerns.

John Allegro, a leader of the grass-roots group United Monroe, originally posed the open question in a Facebook forum run by the Orange County Democratic Party. Party faithful attempted to dismiss the rumor under a guise of simply providing recognition, until it was disclosed that Democratic politicians were staying away based on the mention of Doles and recognition of his role in Monroe.

The discussion quickly escalated into a frenzy of remarks that were largely dismissive of the action that party leaders were planning, including party-line rhetoric on how the party needs to unify in the county. While a number of local residents raised concerns about Doles mismanagement and divisive politics in Monroe, party wonks replied with a series of statements, one admonishing a local resident on needing “a civics lesson”.

The Orange Democrats’ $100 a plate affair lists the following on its agenda:

“County, city, Town and village elected officials from our 20 Towns and 3 cities will be honored on Sunday, June 5, starting with cocktails at 5 and dinner at 6.”

Orange DemocratsThe feedback, largely from those in Monroe, was not keen on the guest list. And the Orange Democrats were less kind to Village of Monroe Mayor, James Purcell, who was left out of the list of people to be recognized. We’re told that issue was corrected, albeit an embarrassment to the organizers.

More embarrassing is that the party had very little to offer on why Doles was being honored, other than his inclusion based on political party and his holding elected office in Orange County. We’d like to ask the question, as a couple of people did in social media, of whether these were simply accolades for just showing up or ‘participation trophies’, since those were the only qualifications offered.

Apparently for Orange Democrats, it’s more important that a Democrat holds an office regardless of whether he engages in incompetent activities or is abusive to his constituents.

A sampling of comments included:

“We need to be concerned about the way the party is perceived by “independent ” voters so we can get seats. Honoring Harley makes us all look bad.” – Liz Walsh, Monroe

“That’s BS. Doles is corrupt. His decisions have huge ramifications on the County. Everyone but him should get an award. Stand up OC dems and make a statement!!” – Nadia Waldman, Monroe”The Orange County Democratic Committee should think about the damaging political consequences of including Mr. Harley Doles and Mr. Daniel Burke in their dinner. They have single handedly thrown away the land to the Hudson Valley. I don’t even know where to begin. Daniel Burke is so delusional and bad intentioned he went after his own committee. These men were instrumental in selling Monroe out to the highest bidder. Is that what they are being recognized for?” – Susan McCosker, Monroe

“If this happens I will change my affiliation from Democrat to Independent. I hope I don’t have to do that.” Sam Sundaram, Washingtonville

“Many even on the county level flipped out when they read about this and saw Harley’s name but the county committee had no choice since he is the stupervisor. What really irked me was the absence of Jim Purcell’s name since he is the Village Mayor. There are not many of “these people” deserving of recognition on any level let alone the County level. The County Committee has a lot of cleaning up to do starting with Jonathan Jacobson, the man who gave Harley (his) power.” – Paulette Brown, Monroe

“If you don’t like Doles or any other Democrat, run against them in the Democratic primary. Or criticize their actions in office. Or fight them in court.” – Jon Chase, Cornwall (Democratic Chair of Cornwall)

Evidently, Chase hasn’t been reading or hearing the news to not understand the protests against Doles and his political appointees.

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Managing Editor