CD-19 Positivity Pledge

CD-19 Positivity Pledge

May 29, 2018

Today, the Democratic activist groups and Democratic leaders listed below stand with Democratic candidates Dave Clegg, Erin Collier, Antonio Delgado, Brian Flynn, Gareth Rhodes and Pat Ryan, who have all committed to running positive campaigns and to stand together against negative attacks from outside groups. Voters in New York’s 19th Congressional District must be able to choose from positive, unifying visions for the future of the Hudson Valley, Catskills, Southern Tier and Capital Region. Signing on to this agreement ensures that the candidate who emerges from the highly qualified Democratic field will be in the strongest possible position to accomplish our shared, singular goal of defeating John Faso. We are calling on all of the NY-19 Democratic candidates to publicly support this agreement.

We know that Democrats win when we stand together to share our positive vision for the country. We must all be united in the shared goal of defeating John Faso. This is truly the most important election of our lifetimes, and Democrats must commit now more than ever to standing unified and empowered against attempts to divide us. Attacking fellow Democrats with Trumpian tactics plays right into Republican hands.

Over the past year, the candidates have run positive campaigns based on our shared values. We commend the candidates for their positivity and camaraderie. Negative attacks by candidates or by outside groups are likely to lead to additional negative attacks from all directions as candidates fight back to protect themselves. This would change the entire tenor of the Primary and weaken the Democratic nominee against John Faso. Therefore, we ask all candidates, and their supporters, to make sure that this spirit of positivity continues through the remaining weeks before the Primary election.

Working Families Party
NY19 Votes
Citizen Action
Columbia County Democratic Committee
Delaware County Democratic Committee
Democracy Matters 
Hudson Valley Strong
Indivisible NY CD 19 
Indivisible The Fight is On
Listen to Us, John Faso 
Livingston Democratic Committee 
Move Forward New York
Schoharie Blue Streak
Spotlight 19
Washington Democratic Committee

Mike Hein, Ulster County Executive
County Chairs --
Frank Cardinale, Chair, Ulster County Democratic Committee
Doreen Davis, Chair, Greene County Democratic Committee 
Kathleen Hayek, Chair, Delaware County Democratic Committee and NYS Democratic Committeewoman
Keith Kanaga, Chair, Columbia County Democratic Committee
Kim Muller, Chair, Otsego County Democratic Committee 
Donna Schick, Chair, Sullivan County Democratic Committee, and NYS Democratic Committeewoman
Dan Ahouse, former Chief of Staff to Congressman Maurice Hinchey 
Zach Feuer, Founder, Listen to Us, John Faso
Michelle and Ilene Hinchey
Pam Kline, Chair, Livingston Democratic Committee, and Chair, CCDC State and National Committee
Joan Mandle, Executive Director, Democracy Matters
Cynthia Reichman, Voter Outreach Director, Germantown Democratic Organization
Beth Soto, Pawling Democratic Committee Member
Richard Sternberg, Cooperstown Trustee, NYS Democratic Committee
Joyce St. George, State Senate Candidate
Pat Courtney Strong, State Senate Candidate

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  • Neil Kaatzkill
    commented 2018-06-06 10:42:11 -0400
    I am disturbed by the hypocrisy in the above pledge. It is a blatant effort to stifle speech and chill the voices of those candidates for Congress (and their supporters) who are merely calling out the faults of other candidates. How are you defining a “negative attack”? This is so subjective as to be meaningless and prime for abuse – labeling as negative any legitimate challenge to a candidate’s record.

    Isn’t what’s more important than the perception driven "play nice’ pledge posted about above is having the candidates take a pledge on issues? For example, how about a pledge that if elected they will unequivocally support and fight for medicare for all, to end subsidies for fossil fuels, to repeal the Trump Tax cuts, to replace funding for the State Department, to cut back on social media surveillance of liberal and social justice groups, to enact real legislation on corporate lobbying, to replace consumer safeguards on the financial industry, to protect our water and air nationwide, to have a higher national minimum wage, and other substantive actions?

    Politics is not a safe space. I want the candidates to publicly attack each other’s records because Faso will. I want light shined on them now so we are making informed decisions about who is the best candidate to represent CD19 against Faso. As Salman Rushdie commented, “Democracy is not a tea party where people sit around making polite conversation. In democracies, people get extremely upset with each other. They argue vehemently against each other’s positions. (But they don’t shoot.)….It does matter that people have the right to take an argument to the point where somebody is offended by what they say. It’s no trick to support the free speech of somebody you agree with or to whose opinion you are indifferent. The defense of free speech begins at the point when people say something you can’t stand. If you can’t defend their right to say it, then you don’t believe in free speech. You believe in free speech only as long as it doesn’t get up your nose. But free speech does get up people’s noses.”

    At least one candidate who had taken the above pledge has since engaged in negative attacks using skewed and misleading phone polling questions. So much for the pledge.