Unauthorized political advertisement did a disservice to American Legion

Posted 4 June 2019 at 9:55 pm


This is in response to the retraction that the American Legion Post #204 posted yesterday in the Letters to the Editor. While leafing through the Lake Country Pennysaver on Sunday I noticed that there was a large ad urging the people of Orleans County to vote for current Undersheriff Chris Bourke in the upcoming primary for Orleans County Sheriff.

I thought it was odd that the American Legion Post # 204 was attached to the ad. It was paid for by David Wells / Legionnaires for Bourke. While I’m not a member of the American Legion and knowing what a great organization it is, I decided to do a little research and found their Constitution, Article 2, Section II clearly states that the American Legion shall be absolutely non-political and shall not be used for the dissemination of partisan principles nor for the promotion of the candidacy of any person seeking public office or preferment.

It went on to say that the American Legion as an organization is never to help or endorse a candidate. I was able to contact Post # 204 and they had no knowledge of this ad and didn’t authorize the heading with their post number or the Paid for by David Wells with Legionnaires attached to his name at the bottom of the ad.

While Mr. Wells has every right endorse Undersheriff Bourke (who are both Ridgeway Republican committeemen I might add), Wells did the American Legion a grave disservice by going against their Constitution and he owes them a public apology.

Ironically, Mr. Wells posted a letter in response to current Ridgeway Town Supervisor Brian Napoli’s letter just before the retraction letter from the American Legion. He stated that the Ridgeway Republican Committee followed correct procedures in the handling of individuals whom Mr. Napoli stated advanced themselves and others to manipulate this year’s elections.

I find it ironic and both hypocritical of Mr. Wells stating that Mr. Napoli made inaccurate statements while he himself so blatantly went against the American Legion’s Constitution. Maybe it was an oversight on his part or maybe he thought attaching the American Legion name to the ad would add more clout. I suspect the latter.

If this is what the Ridgeway Republican Committee stands for, I’d want no part of it or anyone they’d endorse. I’d also like to hear more of Mr. Napoli’s statement in his letter about the illegitimate advancements and attempts to manipulate the elections.

Thank you,

Tim Jurhs