NY-17 Republican Candidate Anthony Melé Discusses How His Own GOP Chairman Falsified Military Records to Destroy his Campaign

Anthony Melé took a few moments recently at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington, DC to recount a story about his recent race for U.S. Representative in the deep blue state of New York. His comments illustrate the kind of fight that conservatives will be up against in blue states as we approach the 2012 elections. Melé was the Congressional Republican candidate for the 17th Congressional District of New York. When running for public office, it can only be expected that political opponents will dig up dirt, however, according to Melé, his own party (the Rockland County Republican Committee) took it to a new level and attacked one of its own by falsifying records.

Melé is an Army veteran decorated for peace-time heroism. While stationed in Washington, DC as a member of the prestigious 3rd US Infantry [The Old Guard] Escort to the President, he saved a woman from drowning to death in the Potomac River and was awarded the “The Army Commendation Medal, 1st Oak Leaf Cluster” "for exceptional valor and intrepidity." However, according to Melé, during the NY-17 Republican Primary Race, his Republican Chairman Vincent Reda, Reda's colleague Brigadier General Arthur Jackson, and the primary candidate Reda was supporting, York Kleinhandler, worked together to discredit Melé's military record.

Melé explained:

"What they did was, they sent out a letter to basically 1,000 Republican committee persons. The letter stated, signed by the General Jackson, that I was in violation of the Stolen Valor Act, which is a felony crime, punishable by jail and high fines, and among the military community is taken quite seriously for any person to pretend to wear medals and decorations that they did not earn."

Melé says the trio had obtained his military records, removed the part about his award, and then posted the military records on a phony military decorations site. According to Melé; Vincent Reda, Arthur Jackson, and York Kleinhandler admitted doing this and said it was just part of politics and winning an election.

Are Republicans really doing this in New York? Will we be seeing more of this in blue states as we approach the critical 2012 elections and conservatives attempt to rescue this nation?

Watch Anthony Melé discuss his experience in the video below, and follow TexasGOPVote for more posts and videos about his race and New York politics!

Comments

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As someone who followed the NY-17 race fairly closely, it appears that Mr. Mele might actually be cut out for politics after all because he does not let the facts get in the way of a good story. Since before the primary, Anthony Mele has been going around claiming that there is a conspiracy against him. So his revisionist's history as to what happened is quite comical to anyone who pays attention to detail. While it is clear as to why he is spinning this far-fetched conspiracy story, because he wants people to forget about his blundering campaign in order to run again in 2012, it might be more believable if it contained even a shred of factual support. The truth of the matter is that Mele was a terrible candidate. He was far too conservative for his district, even with pseudo tea-party support (pseudo because his tea party support came exclusively from a local tea party group which he was an organizer of and also because Sarah Palin supported his opponent according to campaign contribution records) and that does not even take into consideration the tremendous mistakes made by the candidate, including a shouting incident between Mr. Mele and an opponent's supporter in a grocery store parking lot which resulted in the police asking Mr. Mele to leave the premises and the primary night debacle which saw Mr. Mele stop by a voting location only to destroy ballots when he realized his name was not listed as a candidate. Unfortunately, being the ill-equipped candidate that he was, Mele failed to realize that the voting station he stopped at was outside of his district. As for Mr. Mele's attempts to revise history, it should be noted that the Brigadier General was not involved in the Kleinhandler campaign and his letter bringing to light the questions about Mr. Mele's record caught the Kleinhandler campaign off-guard. It should also be noted that Mr. Mele is trying to convince all that will listen that this conspiracy was able to doctor official Department of Defense records. While I guess anyone with a computer and scanner might be able to change some records, it does not explain how the POW Network, a group dedicated to exposing this type of issue, reached the same conclusion Brig. Gen. Jackson reached after conducting an independent freedom of information act request(http://www.pownetwork.org/phonies/phonies1236.htm). Also, it would seem that a conspiracy of this magnitude, one that could get official government records altered, would also be able to secure a primary victory, especial if the local GOP boss was involved. As for Mr. Mele's award, I am not sure. Were his actions heroic? Undoubtedly yes, and a woman owes her life to him. Was he worthy of an award? Yes. But where the uncertainty comes into play is in the specifics of this particular award. As I am not a military person, I must rely on others when they say that the term "valor" is reserved for actions in combat and unless Mr. Mele's heroic actions occurred in 1776 or 1812, it is hard to identify where in history the Potomac river would be considered a combat area. With respect to the lack of party support Mr. Mele received, it is not hard to figure out why, and it does not take a conspiracy theory. The hallmark of Mr. Mele's early campaign was that he was the outsider. Mele called the local GOP establishment bullies who used strong arm tactics against him. Mele also promised, along with the other two early candidates, not to launch a primary challenge against whomever won the nominating conventions of the three counties that make up the 17th district. Mr. Mele lost all three nominating conventions and ran anyways, against his word, and accused the GOP of providing his supporters with the wrong convention dates. Common-sense dictates that one does not receive the support of those you bad-mouth. I guess Mr. Mele just forgot to mention these facts while telling his story and also that he is potentially exposing himself to liability by making such baseless claims.

Thanks for the coverage.  We must be the standard bearers for others to emulate.   We should stand on principle and fight the good fight.  I am not dissuaded one bit.  But the rest of you  should express to our leadership that this type of conduct will not be rewarded nor tolerated.

Bill, I find your comments to be the making of a good story, under the fiction section of course.  While you feel you are presenting the facts, you are in fact, presenting your perception of the facts.  Had this campaign been conducted in a fair manner, Mele would have had a better chance to defeat Eliot Engel.  I hope he does run in 2012 because if he does, he will have my vote again.

By the way, the GOP Chairman of Rockland County has been arrested for shoplifting.  I'm sure he will wiggle his way out of this matter, but there's yet another example of his integrity.

 

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