BREAKING NEWS: Julian Schreibman has dropped out of the D.A. race, at a press conference in front of the Ulster County court house he cited reasons that include a divided party and it's preferential treatment toward a specific candidate. Referring to the 19 appointees that where appointed to the Executive Committee, at what many saw as a clear attempt to allow Bradley to receive the Wilson Pecula exemption to run in a Democratic Primary. While Schreibman said he could not support a specific candidate because of his job as an ada, he did say he hoped Democrats would get behind Jonathan Sennett. " I can no longer work against the Party's candidate". Shreibman also strongly urged Vincent Bradley to drop out as well for the good of the party. "Mr. Bradley please help heal this party."
I have a new respect for Mr. Schreibman today, he could have stayed in or tried to get a promotion by coming out and endorsing a specific candidate but he didn't. He called a last minute press conference which many people were unaware of and gracefully bowed out. Mr. Schreibman did this selfless act because it was in the best interest of the party and he should really be commended for that. Thanks, Julian, thanks for running a clean race and having enough class and integrity to do the right thing. I wish Mr.Bradley would take a lesson from Julian, but somehow I doubt he will.
MR. Shreibman's full speech :
Good afternoon. During my travels around the County, I have had the pleasure of answering many questions about the District Attorney's Office and my role there as Senior Assistant District Attorney. Repeatedly and usually in private after a formal Q&A session has ended citizens have come to me with concerns about their local government. They worry about back-room deals and agreements that benefit the well-connected, including politicians themselves, rather than the public. In a word, they worry about corruption.
Sometimes, no doubt, these suspicions are misplaced, and result merely from a lack of transparency or communication. But, even when a concern is imagined, the worry alone corrodes the effectiveness of, and faith in, local government. �And if left unaddressed, it will fester as cynicism and disengagement. �Even more seriously, though, I have listened to concerns that have given me real pause. I have listened to very legitimate questions and accounts of troubling activities. �Especially at a time when new development projects are constantly proposed, the people of Ulster County must be confident that public officials are making decisions that benefit the citizens, not politicians or their well-connected friends.
In connection with last week's Independence Day holiday, I intended to address these concerns by proposing the reorganization of the DA's Consumer Fraud Bureau into the Public Integrity and Consumer Fraud Bureau, giving that Bureau explicit responsibility for receiving complaints of local government corruption, reviewing such claims and referring them, where appropriate, for prosecution by this Office. I know that our current District Attorney has plans to further improve and strengthen the Consumer Fraud Bureau and I believe adding this function would further enhance that Bureau and serve the citizens of this County.
Unfortunately, over the last two weeks, events within my own party have prevented me from making this proposal. �In light of the recent actions by some leaders of our Party, to give a speech about public integrity prosecutions would have been ironic, if not hypocritical.
As is well-known, the Party is currently considering whether to grant Vincent Bradley, Jr. a special waiver to run in the Democratic primary. Mr. Bradley requires this waiver because, over the last 21 years, he has never registered as a Democrat. His explanations for coming late to the Democratic table have been shifting and incomplete. �Nevertheless, I have welcomed him to the Party, and I do not question or criticize Mr. Bradley's decision to ask for that approval. But I have opposed granting this waiver. The so-called Wilson-Pakula waiver gives a Party the flexibility to endorse a non-party member when it lacks a qualified candidate. In this case, the Democrats already have two qualified candidates.�
The Party's Executive Committee was scheduled to vote on Mr. Bradley's request at its monthly meeting on June 27. On the eve of that meeting, it was clear that Mr. Bradley's request was opposed by a clear majority.
The meeting was abruptly canceled and then rescheduled for July 1, four days later. Between those two dates, the 29 members of the Executive Committee were notified that at least 20 new voting members had been appointed by the Chairman, in an unprecedented exercise of naked political power. �Nearly every new member was closely affiliated with Mr. Bradley's campaign, including members of his campaign committee, as well as his relatives. �All claimed the right to vote on Mr. Bradley�s waiver request. The matter has now been referred to the entire County Committee, where tempers will no doubt continue to run as high as the pressure to vote for the waiver.
These efforts must not be condoned or endorsed. The election of a District Attorney cannot be founded upon a contortion of principles on behalf of the powerful or famously-named. We cannot have a District Attorney who allows the rules to be bent for his own benefit. �A District Attorney cannot speak of equal justice for all citizens, if he is prepared to change the rules of the game when he doesn't like the outcome.�
Throughout this campaign, I have repeatedly said that the old style politics where who you know is more important than what you know, were a thing of the past. I was wrong. But I will not be wrong much longer. The citizens of this County know very well that ideas and experience are what matter in running our government successfully, not family connections or history. As Thomas Paine taught us more than 200 years ago, When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary There are two Democrats running for District Attorney who reject the old style of politics in Ulster County � Jonathan Sennett of New Paltz, and me. �Unfortunately for me, at the Party's June convention, Mr. Sennett received 31% of the vote and I received 29%, so that today he is the Party's formal nominee. And I am not.
Mr. Sennett and I disagree over matters of policy and approach to the DA�s Office. And, therefore, I was prepared to run an organized and issue-based primary campaign against him. However, in light of the divide within the Party whether we will be the Party of open government, public integrity, and progressive change, or whether we will just offer the failed politics of the past hidden beneath a different label it would not serve the interests of the Party or the citizens of the County, for me to continue to campaign against the Party�s nominee. �Rank and file members are eager to make clear their rejection of top-down decision making in this party; forcing them to choose between Mr. Sennett and me, detracts from that effort. Accordingly, I am here to tell you that last week I suspended petitioning and all other campaign activities, and that effective today, I am no longer a candidate for the Democratic nomination for District Attorney.
This has been a very successful campaign. Unlike my opponents, I began this race without political connections of any kind and I have been overwhelmed by the positive response we received from voters around the County. I'd like to thank my wife Shannon, who was the entire campaign staff for the first couple of weeks, and who remained the source of many of the ideas and much of the energy that ran through our campaign; my managers Trisha and Phil Schacter, who made our strong showing at the convention possible and brought us tantalizingly close to victory; dedicated advisor Sherrie Brittain, whose insight and feedback made each presentation we did better than the last; my boss, DA Don Williams, who has said many kind words on my behalf, when he didn't have to and wasn't asked; and many find members of the County Democratic committee who supported and believed in this campaign, but especially my old teacher Don Avallone of Saugerties, Terrie Rosenblum, the Chair in Woodstock, Ben Shor, the Chair in Marbletown and many members of the Marbletown committee; Legislator Phil Terpenning of Rosendale, and Joan Rice Smith of Ellenville.
Serving as Ulster County DA was a childhood dream for me. Today, I defer that dream. I do so out of an unwavering commitment to the principles and values of the Democratic Party. I pledge my support to the many leaders of our Party who are devoted to bringing Ulster County politics out of the 19th century, and forge a Party, and a County, we can all be proud of.
Politics cannot be just about winning elections; those of us who choose public careers do so to make a positive difference in peoples lives. With an eye to that greater good, it is imperative that any candidate be prepared to walk away from an election, be prepared to put the public ahead of personal goals and ambitions. I do so today. I ask Mr. Bradley to do the same. �He has always struck me as a decent man and I'm sure he is sincere in his desire to serve this County as DA. �But the time has come for him to take responsibility for his campaign and the divisions it has caused, and to be respectful of the will of the Party. I ask him to help heal our Party by rejecting and repudiating the extraordinary and unprincipled tactics that have been wielded on his behalf, in his name, and for his benefit. �I ask him to support the Party�s nominee for District Attorney.
I will be happy to answer any questions you have. I must emphasize that at the conclusion of this press conference, I will return to my work as a public servant at the DA's Office and the rules of professional ethics will prohibit me from participating directly in this election after today.