Village of Mamaroneck Republicans Caught Fabricating False Accusations on LMC-TV

The Westchester Fair Campaign Practices Committee (FCPC) ruled today that Republican candidates for Village of Mamaroneck Board of Trustees, along with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor, violated fair campaign principles and rules of conduct in a recent LMC-TV appearance.

Democrats Andres Bermudez Hallstrom, Ilissa Miller, and Leon Potok filed a complaint with the Committee earlier this week after their opponents falsely accused them of calling for a 30% reduction in the Village police department.

Mayor Norm Rosenblum made this untrue statement during a political appearance on LMC-TV with Deputy Mayor Louis Santoro and all three Republican candidates for the Board of Trustees. 

Candidate Dennis Cucinella compounded the Mayor’s falsehood by asserting that a 30% cut would be “devastating” and would result in parades and other popular public events being cancelled. Candidates George Belsito and Michael Sudano nodded enthusiastically in agreement.

But none of the Democratic candidates has ever called for a 30% reduction in the Village police department, as the FCPC’s finding made clear:


The Democratic candidates complained that, in a taped “Meet the Candidates” program on Larchmont-Mamaroneck Cable Television, the Republicans made the claim that the Democrats “want to cut the police department by 30 percent,” when that was untrue.


The Committee determined that the statement was false because the three Democratic candidates had never said the Mamaroneck Police Department should be reduced by 30 percent. One of the Democratic candidates, Mr. Potok, in his role of chairman of the Village of Mamaroneck’s volunteer Budget Committee, had recommended that “the Board should look carefully at any possibilities of reducing staffing and the impact of such reduced staffing.” However, there was no mention of reducing the staffing 30 per cent by Mr. Potok or any of the other Democratic candidates.

“Mamaroneck deserves Trustees who are interested in meeting the Village’s challenges with serious analysis. The Budget Committee, which I chair, has tried to do that,” said Leon Potok after the FCPC hearing. “But that’s not how our opponents are behaving. First they support the Mayor’s completely unrealistic automated parking hoax, and now apparently they’ve decided they need to throw around false accusations in order to win this election.”

Andres Bermudez Hallstrom presented the Democrats’ complaint at the FCPC hearing. Afterwards he said, “The Mayor just made up a big scary number — and the rest of them went right along with it. It calls into question their integrity.”

Ilissa Miller reacted to the ruling: “I’m glad the Fair Campaign Practices Committee is keeping everyone honest. But the fact that our opponents are making these ridiculous charges should make voters very wary of handing them a majority on the Board of Trustees.”

The Westchester FCPC is an independent, non-partisan entity, established in 1991 by the League of Women Voters of Westchester to promote a climate in which candidates conduct honest, fair, and open campaigns without distorting the facts. You can read their full press release on this matter here.

You can read the complaint as filed with the FCPC here.
For the Budget Committee comparison of Police Department staffing and community statistics for VOM, City of Rye, and Port Chester, click here.
For Fair Campaign Practices Committee home page, click here.

Read more about the FCPC finding in Patch and the Daily Voice.

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