Anita Mullane, a candidate for the Niagara County Legislature’s 13th District, is asking her opponent, incumbent Republican Keith McNall, to formally issue an apology after a mailer was sent out attacking her sister.
The mailer, distributed to households across the city this week, says, in part: “If you’re Anita Mullane’s relative, finding a job isn’t hard.”
The mailer, which is not attributed to a source, suggests, as a city alderwoman, Mullane put on a “hard push” to have her sister appointed to a “high-paying job with the city that wasn’t necessary.”
“Most people agree that putting family first is the way to go,” the mailer reads. “But when you’re a governmental official, sticking your family in unnecessary patronage jobs crosses the line. Anita Mullane disagrees.”
Mullane described the statements on the mailer as a “lie.”
“My sister worked for the taxpayers of Lockport for 31 years in a civil service job,” Mullane said. “She worked nearly a quarter-century before I even ran for public office. And she worked hard. This is offensive. She got her job on her own and is a self-made working woman. She deserves to be shown respect.”
Mullane said she wants McNall and his supporters to leave her family out of the race.
“At least say you’re sorry to my sister and other women like her who’ve made it on their own,” Mullane said.
Reached by telephone on Thursday, McNall said he did not send out the mailer and does not know where it came from.
“Well, she doesn’t get a formal apology because I don’t know where it came from,” McNall said.
McNall noted that in politics sometimes groups send out negative mailers.
“These things happen during election time and it’s unfortunate,” McNall said. “I don’t like any of that kind of stuff.”
McNall added: “it would be nice if these flyers that come during election time stress the things that the candidates accomplished.”
“That’s what people want to read about,” he added.
McNall had issues of his own with another mailer, one distributed by Mullane supporters that criticized him for alleged ties to inappropriate dealings involving the county.
It accuses McNall of allowing “patronage hires” doing political work on “county time,” “bid rigging and contract steering” and “misuse of county-owned Western OTB’s promotional Sabres and Bills tickets by politicians and party bosses.”
“All these abuses happened on Keith McNall’s watch,” the mailer reads.
“Maybe I would like an apology for that,” McNall said.
In response, Mullane said she doesn’t consider the mailer negative, noting that “the things on there are public records.”
“The things he sent were total lies,” Mullane said, criticizing McNall for his refusal to apologize even if he didn’t send the mailer himself.
“At some point, who bears the responsibility for this?” she said.
She added that all of her family members have jobs and they are not looking for jobs.
“My sister is not an elected official,” Mullane said. “My sister is not fair game.”