Someone is targeting Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell with mailers criticizing her record with seniors and the county’s golf course. But it’s not clear who’s behind them.
At least two anonymous, unsigned pieces of political mail have gone out en masse in Putnam County in recent weeks, criticizing Odell as she faces re-election this year. One obtained by Gannett’s Albany Bureau criticizes Odell’s recent declaration of 2014 being the “year of the senior” in Putnam, but has no information about who funded the mail or is supporting it.
“Year of the senior??” the mailer reads. “Or just a politician attempting to execute damage control…”
Odell, a Republican, is seeking her first full term in office this year after she won a special election in 2011. Former state Sen. Vincent Leibell was elected in 2010, but pleaded guilty to two felony tax evasion and obstruction of justice charges before he took office.
Sen. Greg Ball, R-Patterson, Putnam County, has been weighing a primary challenge to Odell, but his website, Facebook page and various campaign signs. It’s also featured on a billboard on Route 9 in Garrison — which is part of Putnam County, but not part of Ball’s district.
When asked whether Ball had anything to do with the anonymous mail, Ball spokesman Joe Bachmeier said in an email: “No clue on the mail.” Bachmeier said Ball has had a billboard in the Garrison area “on and off, for years now.”
(A comparison of the fonts is above. At the top is the font from the mailer; at bottom is the font from a graphic on Ball’s website highlighting a petition for his push to flag 6 percent of state contracts for businesses owned by service-disabled veterans.)
Odell on Tuesday declined to speculate on who may have been behind the anonymous mail.
“When you choose to make statements like that and you don’t put your name to it, you can’t really take them seriously. And to that point, I think it’s also an individual who clearly doesn’t understand the issues in Putnam County. The facts, they’re just not true.”