Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor
The Poughkeepsie Journal’s editors are at it again, acting as liberal activists instead of journalists. The Poughkeepsie Journal’s latest political attack is from writer Mary Beth Pfeiffer. Pfeiffer is a George Soros Justice Media Fellow. That’s right, Pfeiffer received grant funding from left-wing billionaire George Soros’ foundation to write a book called Crazy in America.
The Poughkeepsie Journal has sunk to publishing political hit pieces from writers who tout their connection to far-left billionaire George Soros. The focus of Soros’ stenographer at the Poughkeepsie Journal is Afghanistan and Iraq Veterans for Congress (AIVC), the all-volunteer political action committee I started in 2008. I’m proud of the work done by AIVC to get conservative vets elected to Congress and I won’t be bullied by the far-left.
Buried at the very end of the three-page story, after the lurid headline and deceptive reporting, is: “There is no indication that the veterans PAC associated with Lalor used its money for anything other than legitimate fundraising and political purposes. It has no paid staff and no formal offices, officials said, so it also has low overhead.” You would think that quote would appear at the beginning of the story, but the Poughkeepsie Journal has a political agenda.
The Journal’s story is unvarnished nonsense. This was a misleading hit piece from the beginning and we have the email chain to back it up. We caught the Soros reporter red handed, manipulating stats to help her predetermined narrative (see here, here, and here).
Readers expect unbiased, politically neutral reporting in their local papers. That expectation is turned on its head when writers take funding from the likes of Soros. The money comes with strings and if you want to be eligible for a future grant, you better make sure you toe the liberal line.
The Poughkeepsie Journal is misleading the public because they can’t stand that I am a conservative reformer taking on the broken status quo that the Poughkeepsie Journal has perpetuated and protected for decades. I need your help to combat this Soros-aligned attack. Can you help with a donation of $25, $50, $100 or more today? We’re going up against the left-wing Soros complex and we need your help to fight back. You can visit www.KMLNY.com to donate right now.
The Poughkeepsie Journal’s focus on percentage is misleading. AIVC ranks 12th out of the 69 PACs the Journal lists in terms of total donations to candidates. That means AIVC is giving more money to candidates and making a greater difference in political campaigns than the vast majority of PACs.
This story is rubbish. Their Soros-grant-winning reporter knew that. But, she twisted the facts and manipulated the stats to fit her predetermined left-wing narrative. The Soros-funded reporter was doing the dirty work for Executive Editor Stuart Shinske who isn’t a fan of principled conservatives who stand up for the Second Amendment and dare to criticize Gov. Cuomo. This story is a part of a pattern with Shinske. Shinske refused to cover my campaign’s amazing write-in Conservative primary win. On Election Day, he produced a bizarre front page hit piece attacking my campaign. Recently, the Poughkeepsie Journal edited an already published online article to remove the feel-good storyline about my former high school baseball coach turned judge, presiding at the Assembly oath of office ceremony.
Shinske is also clearly upset that I dared run a primary against Rich Wager Jr., the son of former Poughkeepsie Journal editor Richard Wager Sr.. Shinske worked closely with Wager Sr. for nearly two decades and in many ways Shinske owes his career to Wager Sr. These false allegations all stem from a campaign attack mailer by Wager Jr. which was overwhelming rejected by the electorate. It is clear that Shinske is continuing to carry water for the failed campaign of his friend’s son.
I’m not going to be able to fight off this Soros-affiliated attack without your help. Please visit my website and make a contribution today. Whether its $25, $50 $100 or more, your contribution will help get our message out. We’re ready to run the same kind of lean and mean campaign again. You’ve seen your money go to a grassroots machine in 2012. The establishment knows that we have generated tremendous momentum and both regional and national media coverage in only eight weeks in office. They are determined to slow us down but I know you won’t let that happen.
If the Poughkeepsie Journal and their Soros-sponsored writer think the campaign has already started, then we have to be ready today. So, regardless of the size of your contribution today, every penny will go toward getting our conservative reform message out to voters. Please visit www.KMLNY.com to donate today.
I knew taking on the entrenched media and political establishment would draw their fire and thank God I have supporters like you to help us get the truth out and fight back.
Semper Fidelis, Kieran
P.S. Please forward this Fact Check to your friends and family who might read the Poughkeepsie Journal.
Fact Checking the Poughkeepsie Journal
Poughkeepsie Journal: Donors give a lot and veterans get little. Some PACs exist for their own maintenance. FACT: The Poughkeepsie Journal obscures the fact that AIVC is an all volunteer organization. I receive no compensation for my work with AIVC. The headline should have read – “Donors give a lot, veterans get little, and Lalor is a volunteer.” But, the headline is intentionally lurid and misleading. AIVC helps candidates win across the country and doesn’t ask for anything in return.
Poughkeepsie Journal: Only 6.5% of the money raised by Afghanistan and Iraq Veterans for Congress (AIVC) was donated to candidates.
FACT: AIVC raises money through direct mail and has sent over 1.7 million pieces of mail to Republican donors around the country. Direct mail is expensive and about 60% of our costs go to postage. Those mailers, though, list the candidates AIVC is supporting and often lead to contributions made directly to the candidates. We often have donors call us to ask to be put directly in touch with a candidate they read about in one of our mailers. Also, AIVC frequently sends emails to our list of more than 20,000 subscribers, linking directly to candidates’ websites and asking donors to make direct contributions to the candidates. The value of this service is tremendous and is not included in the Journal’s calculations.
AIVC also helps candidates through earning them national TV and radio appearances. AIVC stands up for candidates in the press when their service records are falsely challenged. AIVC raises much more money for candidates than the Journal reports and gives intangible support worth tens of thousands of dollars.
The Poughkeepsie Journal’s focus on percentage is misleading. AIVC ranks 12th out of the 69 PACs the Journal lists in terms of total donations to candidates. That means AIVC is giving more money to candidates and making a greater difference in political campaigns than the vast majority of PACs. Poughkeepsie Journal: AIVC does not donate as much money as similar PACs. FACT: There are several different kinds of PACs and the Journal is misleadingly comparing AIVC to PACs run by influential congressmen, billionaires and decades-old institutions. Let’s look at the four kinds of PACs:
1. PACs run by sitting congressmen raise $5,000 lobbyist checks hand over fist in exchange for favors and access. 2. PACs run by billionaires have access to the kinds of rolodexes that put together a $1,000,000 fundraiser in a couple of minutes. 3. PACs from decades-old institutions are affiliated with 501(c)s. The real cost of fundraising is kept on a separate set of books in the 501(c) and the PACs’ numbers are artificially inflated. 4. Then there are PACs like AIVC that rely on direct mail fundraising from small donors who come together to have a louder voice. This includes not only AIVC, but PACs run by Marco Rubio, Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum, among others. AIVC gives a larger percentage of the money it receives to candidates than Rubio, Palin and Santorum. It’s pretty amazing that one unpaid veteran with a laptop is topping Rubio, Palin and Santorum.
The Soros-funded reporter cherry-picked PACs from a list to manipulate statistics.
Poughkeepsie Journal: Their coverage has been unbiased and readers aren’t interested in the Soros connection. FACT: The paper is employing a Soros Justice Media Fellow to attack AIVC. You can’t take grant money from George Soros and maintain your neutrality. The Poughkeepsie Journal must realize this Soros connection stinks because Shinske, the editor, felt the need to print an editorial defending the reporter in today’s paper. It’s revealing when a paper feels the need to preemptively defend itself against bias allegations. Shinske is still upset that I beat his mentor’s son in a primary. He must have skipped ethics classes in journalism school because the Journal endorsed his mentor’s son when most papers would have recused themselves from an endorsement. By the way, Pfeiffer is married to Robert Miraldi a self-described “anarchist” who used to write for the Poughkeepsie Journal.
Poughkeepsie Journal: This was a well-researched story. FACT: The reporter has trouble getting the basic facts straight. I was not featured and didn’t even appear on the FOX News appearances of AVIC candidates. There were three Wager Jr. attack mailers, not two. The fact that I receive no compensation from AIVC was buried in the story. The reporter refused to include the fact that AIVC gives more money to candidates than Marco Rubio’s PAC. Rubio is a presidential aspirant and this is an important fact.
Poughkeepsie Journal: AIVC donors told the paper they are upset about where the contributions go. FACT: The reporter did not tell donors about her Soros connection or the editor’s silly vendetta. The reporter did not tell the donors about the donations AIVC drives directly to campaigns or the other critical ways AIVC helps candidates.
Poughkeepsie Journal: Executive Editor Stu Shinske has covered Lalor without personal bias. FACT: Shinske has a history of printing stories driven by personal feuds. In 2006, while he was the editor at the Norwich Bulletin, the paper was exposed for running a misleading story about a town clerk motivated by one of the paper’s editor’s delinquent taxes. Now he is writing misleading hit pieces because Lalor beat his mentor’s son in a primary six months ago. In the March 2012 special election between Rich Wager Jr. and Didi Barrett, the Poughkeepsie Journal, with Shinske leading, officially endorsed Wager despite the obvious conflict of interests. Shinske has trouble keeping things professional.
Poughkeepsie Journal: Direct mail is an inefficient way to raise money for candidates. FACT: Direct mail is still the only way small donors can band together to have a greater say in the electoral process. In a New York Post Op-Ed from last week, John Podhoretz wrote, “In 1980, the great advance was the use of direct mail, previously a tool mainly for garnering magazine subscriptions, as a means of fund-raising and voter engagement. Conservatives dominated in this arena, and it was through direct mail that many of the Right’s enduring organizations (the Heritage Foundation, among others) solidified their financial and grassroots bases. It also provided Ronald Reagan with crucial external support against the overwhelming hostility of the mainstream media.” Poughkeepsie Journal: The article stems from a campaign issue about AIVC’s use of direct mail. FACT: The article stems from Rich Wager Jr.’s desperate smear campaign in the final days of the primary. The smears were launched in the final week of the campaign because Wager knew they could not stand up to scrutiny. Despite three separate smear mailers, Wager embarrassingly lost the GOP primary with under 20% of the vote. Wager’s name was on the Conservative primary ballot but my name wasn’t. Still, I beat Wager with 70% as a write-in candidate.
Voters rejected Wager as dishonest; dishonest about this allegation, dishonest about his residence in the district, and dishonest about where he stood on the issues. We have confirmed that Wager even peddled these lies to my Democrat general election opponent who, despiste producing other negative campaign ads, rejected Wager’s pathetic pack of lies. That a candidate in a hotly contested election wouldn’t touch the allegations but the Poughkeepsie Journal is running a Sunday front page story about them six months after the primary tells you everything you need to know about the kind of journalism the Poughkeepsie Journal practices.
Poughkeepsie Journal: My 2008 campaign has late filings with the FEC. FACT: Technical errors, not on the part of the campaign, produced an inaccurate report. The FEC has accepted a letter explaining the technical errors.Poughkeepsie Journal: AIVC was fined by the FEC and the FEC has sent 19 requests for more information. FACT: In early 2011 the volunteer who filed AIVC’s reports with the FEC suddenly passed away. At the same time, my then four-year-old daughter underwent heart surgery, suffered from complications and was put into an induced coma. Thankfully, she recovered, but the filings were late because my daughter needed me and our volunteer died. The filings have been completed since and the fines paid. Campaigns are regularly contacted by the FEC asking for more information. The requests are normal and don’t indicate mischief. The reporter made no attempt to discover this fact.
Poughkeepsie Journal: AIVC did not give a maximum donation to many candidates. FACT: This “charge” is just strange. Why would AIVC give maximum donations to every candidate? PACs don’t give maximum donations to every candidate they support. They give according to a number of factors; weighing a candidate’s prospects for victory and how much impact contributions are likely to have in a race. This is another silly “charge” that shows a fundamental lack of knowledge about the political world. It makes you think – Did Pfeiffer and Shinske just start throwing nonsensical “charges” against the wall when it became obvious the story had no merit?
Poughkeepsie Journal: Lalor filed a politically motivated defamation suit against Rich Wager during his campaign which Lalor has since dropped. FACT: We brought a valid lawsuit against Wager’s knowingly false accusations. Because the electorate so soundly rejected Wager and his Manhattan residency made him difficult and expensive to serve, we decided not to pursue the law suit.
Poughkeepsie Journal: Lalor refused to provide the Journal with sample direct mail letters after initially agreeing to provide the letters. FACT: I gave Pfeiffer the benefit of the doubt and spoke with her at length when she first contacted us earlier this month. I then saw the manipulation of statistics and learned that she was affiliated with George Soros’ foundation. I told her that we were not going to do her research for her. She threatened to include in the story that I initially said I would provide the letters. I told her that the only fair thing to do is to tell your readers that I decided not to share the letters with her after learning of the Soros connection.
### Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor, a former teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes in Poughkeepsie, is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and founder of the Dutchess County based consulting firm KML Strategies, LLC. Lalor is the founder of Afghanistan & Iraq Veterans for Congress and a frequent guest on the Fox News Channel. He is a graduate of John Jay High School, Providence College and Pace Law School and lives in Fishkill with his wife Mary Jo and their four young children Katie, Riley, Mikey and Kieran Jr..