2001-11-03 / Letters

The Past Can Haunt You

The Past Can Haunt You

The Past Can Haunt You

Dear Editor,

I'd like to thank the Wave for writing an article about Joann Ariola's campaign behavior when she last
ran for public office in 1996. That attack on Audrey Pheffer was wrong, but what was more wrong was the
fact that it seemingly didn't matter to Ariola at the time that she would hurt many people she wasn't running against.  It showed that she was quite willing to hurt others to get her point across. To me, that speaks to a person's basic character and it didn't
speak well for Ariola then and her comments in last week's Wave don't speak well for her now.

She said, "It opened a wound in my heart" and "if my opponent intends to use it against me now, then he will reopen that wound." To me, her comments do not reflect any sorrow on her part that her actions caused harm to others. Instead, they reflect that she is concerned about herself, and the effect any comment about her
choice of campaign tactic will have on her heart, not on others, like the Polichek family, whose hearts were
far more wounded by Ariola's choice of tactics.

Ariola's wound was self-inflicted, theirs was not. Ariola's campaign actions today also speak to the issue of her character. I have looked at Ariola's website, www.jariola2001.com as recently as today, October 25th.  In the biography section, the following
statements appear: "In 1996, Joann waged a campaign for the New York State Assembly Seat in the 23rd A.D.
Although her bid for the Assembly was unsuccessful, her campaign came within 2 percent of winning. These
impressive numbers came during an election year when other Republican elected officials lost Assembly positions that they held. The results proved that Joann was a formidable candidate..."

When first reading this statement about the 1996 race, I thought the reference to only losing by 2% was a
typo. However, the context would seem indicate otherwise. According to the certified results of that 1996 election, which are public record and available to anyone, Audrey Pheffer got 20,827 votes and Joann Ariola got 12,763. I find it extremely hard to
believe that a candidate in that race would not know the correct results.

Anyone with basic math skills
can easily calculate that the percentage of difference is far greater than 2%. Audrey Pheffer received 62%
and Joann Ariola received 38%. Ariola's numbers in that race are not particularly impressive nor do they
prove her to have been a formidable candidate in that race as her web site information states she was. Audrey beat her handily and it was Ariola's choice of campaign behavior that contributed to that loss for her.

As a child many years ago, I was taught that truth was important. Among other things, my parents regularly said, "if you lie, you'll get caught and then no one will believe anything you say." That applies to
political candidates just as it applies to all of us.

Character counts. Values are important.  Actions speak louder than words. Our community is a place where we say family values are important. Do we mean it? I do, so I won't vote for someone who plays fast and loose with truth and chooses to cause hurt to others with "a win at any cost" attitude. Rockaway deserves far better representation than it has had these last eight years. I've had enough of Stabile and Ariola and their disreputable actions.

J. SULLIVAN


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