People die when elected officials lie

To the Editor: 
I am writing in response to the very vicious and deliberately misleading and inaccurate politically motivated letter published last week in the names of Wayne Thompson, Ralph Thompson, Russ Thompson, Matt Thompson, and Tom McKeown [“Personal business,” The Altamont Enterprise, April 15, 2021].

These guys claim to live in places like East Berne and Westerlo, but they are clearly residents of Bashwingerville where all logic and reason has been suspended by dear leader, Randy Bashwinger’s decree.

Bashwinger has also proclaimed suspension of any consideration of facts, truth, details, and chronology. He uses his Eddie Haskel nice guy act and manipulates people with falsehoods to convert them. He feels he is being mistreated if anyone criticizes his performance at all! 

Nasty letters and Facebook posts by his disciples — that is how he carries out his Facebook profile threat: “Treat me like shit and see what happens.” 

To evaluate last week’s nasty letter, let’s first consider chronology. The apparently severe condition of the superintendent’s wife was revealed to me in the paper like everyone else. I was totally unaware of the seriousness of her condition and I had no idea she even suffered from kidney disease.

I had only heard the rumor that she was taking trips to see a specialist a year or two ago and heard nothing since. So, to imply that I consciously did anything to “kick her in the face” knowing she was gravely ill is simply another lie. The Enterprise did not mention her condition or Mr. Bashwinger’s statements about her condition to me prior to publication.

The nasty letter attacking me last week failed to quote my public statements about the bankruptcy or illness. Why? Because I made no public statement about it and I made no statement about it to the Enterprise.

I discussed the rumors about the bankruptcy and new house in Tennessee with the newspaper off the record as just that, rumors — not news. When I provide them with a story, I provide documentation and I bring it to the public right here myself. And I focus on documented issues that impact town business, not personal problems.

The paper had already investigated the bankruptcy. They told me it was true, and the unusually small debt amount was also true. But I chose not to comment as it was not clear to me that his personal finances impacted the town.

Not knowing about his wife’s condition, I still chose not to comment on the bankruptcy as it was personal.  Exactly the opposite of what Randy’s disciples accuse me of in that nasty letter ….

In my opinion, last week’s letter is simply political nonsense designed to use her health issues for political gain and discredit me to distract from the fact the GOP is, in my opinion, significantly responsible for two very serious accidents, one fatal ….

My focus is not on ridiculous rumors, so I did not comment. I bring documented town issues to light:

When the superintendent’s negligence resulted in a potentially lethal work-zone intrusion, Mr. Bashwinger blamed his victim! I have documented the fact that the work zone was not compliant with safety standards and created that hazard.

I documented that Mr. [Supervisor Sean] Lyons, Berne’s “safety officer,” claimed he appointed a committee to investigate the incident. He has not been able to identify members or provide the results of any investigation. People die when elected officials lie.

The deputy supervisor lied in his rationale for a motion “canceling” a board-approved safety initiative to have a professional engineering consultant evaluate operations and make safety recommendations. The deputy supervisor lied in one meeting, the official recording of that meeting coincidently disappeared and, coincidently, he lied about his lies in the next meeting!

The first lies were recorded by a resident, so he miscalculated, thinking there was no recording of his initial lies. The safety initiative Democrats approved was derailed based on the absolute lies of an elected representative. Later there was a fatal incident. People die when elected officials lie.

When a fatal incident occurred and PESH [Public Employee Safety and Health Bureau] identified a number of violations of safety standards directly related to that incident, the Bashwinger cult and the Lyons administration again blamed the victim, saying it was just his accident and that couldn’t be avoided (that is another lie).

Stay focused. The well-documented facts clearly indicate that the Bashwinger/Lyons/Palow administration failed its employees and residents and they put your safety at risk if you even just travel through Berne.

Joel Willsey

Berne Town Board

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