A subject of Dishing with Dee column refutes her claims

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In her latest column, Dee Richard writes that we should “Let sleeping dogs lie,” only several paragraphs after she concocts untruthful fantasies about three members of my family. Wonderful! Toss a grenade, and then offer a peace agreement.

Richard writes that “numerous people” heard remarks by my wife, Judy, that would corroborate Richard’s inaccurate account of Judy’s statement on the Republican county leadership vote. Really? If there are “numerous” people in this category, wouldn’t at least a few of them have names? Please provide your readers with this information.

Richard writes that Judy “owes … her son’s job” to Phil Ragusa [presumably at the Board of Elections]. Our 24-year old son works for a private company in Manhattan, so if he is working for government, someone should tell his real employer!

Finally, Richard’s fantasies extend to include me. She writes that “Ragusa … almost secured the executive director’s position on the city Board of Elections for her [Judy’s] husband, Herb Stupp, who was not selected.”

Would it not have been worth a call to me, the person in question, to verify or rebut this claim? I have never submitted a resume or request that I be considered for executive director or any position at the Board of Elections. To my knowledge, my name was not put forth by anyone for a position there. Indeed, I do not believe it would be proper for me to be considered for employment at the Board of Elections while my wife is one of the 10 commissioners at the Board, setting policy.

I incorporated a business last year, through which I provide advocacy consulting and other services to nonprofits and other institutions. I do not appreciate Richard’s untruthful comments about my supposed interest in, and non-selection by, the Board of Elections.

It should also be distasteful to your readers when a columnist refers to Judy’s Board of Elections commissionership and her 26th AD committeewoman position as though these were somehow great enrichments to her. Judy, like county Chairman Phil Ragusa and county Executive Director Vince Tabone, are volunteers who give countless hours for Republican efforts, without pay. They have sacrificed much, including income, to give Queens a vibrant Republican party, and all who believe in a multi-party system should be grateful to them.

And while commissioners of the Board of Elections are paid on a per diem (no benefits) basis for official meetings and duties, your taxpaying readers will be pleased to know they are getting their money’s worth from Judy Stupp and other commissioners. For a position that consumes close to full-time attention from her, Judy was paid about $28,000 in 2009.

There are indeed credible reports of scandals involving one or more Queens Republicans. However, no one named Ragusa, Tabone or Stupp is involved in any of these alleged activities. The New York Times, New York Post and Daily News have written about these matters. Dee Richard has never mentioned these truly significant stories in her column. Why? Can you spell a-g-e-n-d-a ?

Herbert W. Stupp

Former Commissioner

City Department for the Aging


Correction: In her March 11 letter to TimesLedger Newspapers, Judith Stupp identified herself as a Republican state committeewoman, but included a writer’s note that the paper did not publish and Dee Richard did not see before she wrote her March 18 column. The note said: “The writer acknowledges she is the Queens Republican commissioner of the NYC Board of Elections but is not writing in an official capacity or on behalf of the Board of Elections, but rather as a member of the Queens County Republican Party’s Executive Committee, proud Republican, and as a private citizen.”

Updated 5:54 pm, October 10, 2011
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