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Campaign contributions and Dunn Landfill part of Rensselaer election

Oct 31, 2019 11:58 pm
Rick Karlin reports in the Times Union that campaign contributions are supposed to be disclosed to the public, but a mystery contribution is clouding the town election in Rensselaer. The large S. A. Dunn construction debris landfill there is a campaign issue, and Republicans are now alleging that an unknown campaign contribution looks like it came from the Dunn family just after the city approved a land annexation issue in its favor. Mike Stammel, a Republican running against incumbent Mayor Rich Mooney, says a $5,000 2017 contribution to the Rensselaer Democratic Committee came months after the city approved annexation of additional land for the landfill. The donation came from Sheridan LLC, a limited liability corporation with its address listed at 2 Beekman Court in Loudonville where members of the Dunn family have and currently live. Mooney, the Democrat incumbent, said, “That money came in to Mayor Dwyer in 2017,” referring to former Rensselaer Mayor Dan Dwyer, who used to head of the city’s Democratic committee. Mooney is running to finish Dwyer’s term, after he died in 2018. Because a limited liability corporation is involved, the public has less information about the donation. “Mysterious LLCs are a problem,” said Judith Enck, a former EPA regional administrator who is involved in protests against the landfill. Many local politicians have accepted campaign donations from the company that now operates Dunn Landfill, Waste Connections. State Senator George Amedore, and Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple both accepted contributions from the company. Read more about this story in the Times Union.