But, this is Troy and the electeds here tend to set the bar for everyone else.
Last week, Republican councilmen Dean Bodnar, District 3, and Jim Gordon, District 2, filed a notice of claim against Councilwoman Lynn Kopka, D-At Large, for allegedly libelous comments she made in an email.
What makes it even funnier, Kopka inadvertently sent the email where she allegedly slanders Bodnar and Gordon to Bodnar and Gordon – and who knows who else. Honestly, you just can’t make this stuff up.
The email in question was about a piece of legislation that would require any contractors doing a project for the city worth more than $250,000 to implement an apprenticeship program. The non-union shops are against it while the unions – and by extension the shops that hire union help – are in favor of it. The program would make projects more expensive for the city because the contractors would be required to hire the apprentices. On the flip side, it does provide young people an opportunity to learn a trade.
(It’s odd in that a liberal Democrat like Kopka would be staunchly against a piece of legislation favored by the unions and seemingly go out of her way to stop it while two Republicans voted for it. Again, you can’t make this stuff up.)
Kopka, in an email note, to Josh Reap, legislative representative to the Associated Builders and Contractors of New York State, said:
“I thought the 2 republicans - Dean Bodnar and Jim Gordon - were leaning toward a no vote. I think the unions bought them off somehow. They do not have any of the info you provided to me. If you approach them, please do not mention my involvement - just tell them that you represent various contractors, etc and are aware of the legislation.
Your info and a call from a Troy contractor may push them to call the mayor to veto. Time is ticking thought. Keep me posted.”
Bodnar was infuriated and sent this scathing email to Kopka:
“It's 7:50 am on Saturday, and I'm seeing this for the first time. When you phoned me yesterday you didn't mention exactly what you'd written in this email which you'd sent to Jim "by mistake". You just said you sent him something and that now Jim had probably sent it on to everybody in the world...
REALLY? You're accusing Jim and me of being "BOUGHT OFF" on this issue? Do you have any idea what you've said here? Damn it Lynn, I want you to march right over to your acting district attorney and insist he impanel a grand jury to look into this. How can you possibly assert something like this when all we did was disagree with you on a legislative issue. I'm shocked and disgusted--what the hell kind of person are you? I'm copying Kelly Cramer on this---Kelly, please inform us if we have legal grounds for a suit for slander.
Jim's right--the ABC and anyone else who opposed the apprenticeship resolution had every opportunity to speak to all councilmembers for weeks prior to the vote. Where the hell were they? In fact, Jim and I had many conversations during that period in which we actually solicited opinions from local contractors to get their input on this. We honestly studied the issue, presented concerns in public forums on two occasions, sought dissenting views, and ultimately voted in favor based on the information provided. Isn't that what legislators are supposed to do? And because our vote was at odds with yours, WE WERE BOUGHT OFF???
Lynn, I really don't get upset very easily, but if you smear my reputation, or try to hurt my family--that gets me upset. You've got some serious backtracking to do here. If Jim and I decide to go public with this, you've got one hell of a PR problem
. And maybe a legal one.”
. And maybe a legal one.”
Gordon too took exception. Here is his email to Kopka:
“This is an interesting thread. Interesting that you suggest that we were "bought off somehow". That's is a very serious accusation especially in the word of public service and ethics. I don't know who Joshua Reap is, but he along with anyone else had the opportunity to express their concerns during the two council meetings this was debated at for several hours. I did have a number of concerns with the original draft and those concerns were mitigated. Additionally, we were assured that any non-union contractor, through their association with the ABC had access to the AP and therefore would be a "qualified" contractor with the city.
I wonder how many other people may receive this email accidentally...”
The two Republicans, in turn, filed a notice of claim against Kopka. The opening paragraph of the draft notice of claim states: … “the claimants, Bodnar and Gordon, hereby claim and demand from respondents, Kopka and the City of Troy, monetary compensation for the compensatory and punitive damages sustained by reasons of respondent Kopka’s malicious composition and publication of an electronic email containing numerous libelous statements made of and concerning the claimants.”
In the end, at the July 10 meeting, the legislation passed by a vote of 6-2 with two other Democrats, Gary Galuski, District 6, and Erin Sullivan-Teta, At Large, voting no and Kopka being absent.
And finally, here are texts of the emails between Kopka and Reap prior to the one Kopka sent to Bodnar and Gordon where she is trying to steer Reap into the best way to get the mayor to veto.
Kopka to Reap on July 24:
“I have not spoken to the mayor yet. will do so later today.”
From Reap to Kopka later that day:
“It was a very good opportunity to voice some concerns and share with the mayor the potential legal problems this legislation may cause both for the city and the many contractors who currently do work for Troy but would no longer be able to do so, should this bill become signed into law.
I have reviewed the legislation you sent me last night and I'm drafting a letter which will highlight our position as well as some of our concerns with the legislation. I will be happy to share a copy with you once its complete. I also got to speak with Bill; it was productive.
I want to thank you for inviting me to that meeting.”
From Kopka back to Reap:
“Josh - get the letter to the mayor (and me) as soon as you can. He only has a day or so before he must act. Happy to include you. All the material presented prior to today's meeting was one-sided.”
Reap to Kopka:
“You got it; letter will be shared tomorrow.”
Kopka to Reap:
“I am not optimistic that the mayor will veto - he is concerned that the council will override (currently split 6 for; 3 against).”
Back to Kopka:
“Thanks. Are there members of the council who voted "yes" but were on the fence?”
And that’s when Kopka sent the email to the world – where she accuses Gordon and Bodnar of being bought off - she thought she was sending just to Reap.
And here is a draft of the notice of claim:
Oh where to start, first the picture of Lynn looks like she's wearing one of those eyeglasses-nose masks. Lynn shows her true colors by telling the guy "don't mention my name" for she's as sneaky as those mangy cats she hangs out with. As far as the "bought off" comment Bodnar and probably Gordon would do, vote or support anything that would get them elected again. Bodnar has a history of selling his soul on votes and Gordon seems to march in step. We should call them Jimmy Dean. And finally when Lynn explains that Lou won't veto regardless if it's right or wrong because he doesn't want to be overridden by Rodney she is saying he's a coward with no "balls" and even she knows it. The sad part is Rodney and his cast of misfits seem to shine in this one.ReplyDelete
So it turns out that Lynn is not only not a good Councilwoman , not a good person, not a good dresser, and not a good eater; she is also not a good Democrat!ReplyDelete
Nothing and I mean nothing good comes out of this women. By the way Jim where did you get that picture of her? Was she at a Harry Potter look alike party?ReplyDelete
An equally big story is the fact none of the Council Dems know how to properly send an email. Do they know the difference between Reply and Reply All? Completely incompetent.ReplyDelete
Pathetic. They both need to grow a set.ReplyDelete
Its about time. Next November Lynn--This makes 3 strikes, you're out.ReplyDelete
Hey Jim Gordon, why don't you start spending time actually working at your two "jobs" instead of grandstanding on the taxpayer dime. If after doing that, you have any time left over then perhaps you should go back to second grade and learn how to spell and punctuate.ReplyDelete
When you write the word "that's" (as you did in the second sentence of your email), you don't (which means do not) need to follow the word with is. As it turns out Jim, the apostrophe before the "s" means that it is not necessary, nor does it make any sense.
Additionally, dummy, there is a difference between the words where and were (as written in the second sentence of the second paragraph of your email); perhaps you were busy that day of class too.
Oh, bye the way, you probably shouldn't (that means should not James) start a sentence with the word "and," but who's (who is Jim; who is) attention anyways.
Jim I know you have designs on becoming the next mayor of Troy, but perhaps, like Billy Madison, you should return to school and learn some things prior trying to get this job. Maybe your poor spelling and grammar are the reasons that the only job that you have ever held other than the ones that Kathy Jimino made possible for you was that of a pizza delivery boy.
Thanks for the spelling lesson fatty.Delete
Bye the way, buy by bye you big dope. ( There's that grammar thing too, but I'm laughing too hard to keep typing.)Delete
To the pompous English expert at 5:05: correct your second paragraph as it is not especially idiomatic. Convention states that "nor" should be accompanied by "neither."Delete
Does Jim deliver pizza to East Greenbush?Delete
Stand your ground Bodnar and Gordon. An immediate dismissal of Lynn from her seat is in order. Harassment is harassment.ReplyDelete
Call the Waaaaahhhhhhhmbulance for these two. Sad to see Dean getting sissified by Jim Gordon.Delete
Sad to see Dean's otherwise clean reputation being blemished by Lynn. Gordon didn't have anything to do with it. Read the letter from Dean to Lynn he brought up legal troubles..Delete
Jim is the Fredo of the Troy GOPDelete
Franco, can you please check out how much Jim Gordon gets paid at his job as the DWI coordinator? Last time I checked, he doesn't do anything at that job, yet he continues to get paid. Somehow while on taxpayer time this nimrod shows up at press conferences on things that he has nothing to do with (like the arrests and prosecution of criminals) and puffs out his chest like he is somehow responsible for these things. This phony wouldn't know the first thing about enforcing the law or getting the scum off our streets. Other than that waste of space Lou Desso, who Jimino changed the qualifications for a position for, Jim Gordon must be the biggest drain on the Rensselaer County taxpayer payroll.ReplyDelete
Stoopid spel chek changed my byReplyDelete
On what do you blame your lame sentence structure, medication or education? You are a gluteus maximus for continued derision.Delete
Jim, the council members are public figures. Defamation is almost impossible to prove. It does beg the question...why did they vote for it?ReplyDelete
" It does beg the question...why did they vote for it"Delete
Try reading the article, your question is already answered.
On a side note: Is it just me or does lynn look like she could be a stunt double for pee wee herman?
No, the article does not answer the question. Nationally, the Republican Party is doing all it can to neutralize labor unions, specifically because they are among the largest donors to Democratic causes - see Scott Walker and the Koch Brothers in Wisconsin. So you are telling me that Dean and Jim are bucking a national Republican trend because...they believe in unions and are for increased costs to the taxpayers? Makes zero sense. BTW, Dean, it would be libel, not slander. We'll be watching those campaign donation filings, boys.Delete
Lynn could stunt double for a tree in Riverfront Park. Oh wait.Delete
Here you go , let me help you. "Jim's right--the ABC and anyone else who opposed the apprenticeship resolution had every opportunity to speak to all councilmembers for weeks prior to the vote. Where the hell were they? In fact, Jim and I had many conversations during that period in which we actually solicited opinions from local contractors to get their input on this. We honestly studied the issue, presented concerns in public forums on two occasions, sought dissenting views, and ultimately voted in favor based on the information provided. Isn't that what legislators are supposed to do? And because our vote was at odds with yours, WE WERE BOUGHT OFF??? "Delete
That seems to sum it up quite nicely and it would appear they are bucking the national trend...
Councilmen Bodnar and Gordon credibly outlined the fact-finding and decision-making processes that preceded their vote. The relevant and operable question is why did Ms. Kopka and two other Democratic councilpersons vote in direct contravention of Democratic dogma. Who issued the orders and why?Delete
Lynn has always been abrasive but her comments are defensible under defamation law because they were part of an official duty to inquire about city business.
And that is the question. Why would our two Republican councilmen vote for a union program that increases regulation, increases costs to taxpayers and is a burden on businesses. This Notice of Claim is an action against the City and further add to taxpayers burden.
Agreed. I think they voted against Wiltshire dogs#!& and not Democratic dogma. Watch the campaign filings and future endorsements.Delete
Hey Bodnar by the way I look way better in a Cowboy hat than you do and that phony speech you gave at the Chapel about those Trucks going down the road being the problem in South TroyReplyDelete
And Then saying the same loop version on Franco's Show.
Shows me how deliriously asinine your about doing any thing positive for Troy
One good thing is I finally can see right through you and Gordon's ridiculous way of doing business.
Phony's of a feather flock together.
Is that bike made out of plastic wowDelete
Thanks for standing up to the Republican/Rodney horde Lynn. We know who has a set and respect you for taking a position. More importantly, you never sold out to the opposition to get ahead.ReplyDelete
Serves her right, you say derogatory things about people you should be confronted about it. Probably settle out of court and the tax payers will pay again! Cat Woman never got away with anything on Batman.ReplyDelete
There is no case here.Delete
Look at this poor women. She has to run around in a shower to get wet. Put the computer down and have a chess burger for God sake.ReplyDelete
Not to add fuel to the already pyre of Ms. Kopka's career as a city council person, but why did she leak the private conversation about the 2014 budget shortfall to the press? Since she has done Wade's bidding for the last three years, I can only assume Wade had Kopka do this to destroy the administration. Lynne, tell us why!!!ReplyDelete
Her "leaks" are legendaryDelete
Yes! To the English expert. Its always "neither" "nor" and "either" "or"! 10th grade English idiot!ReplyDelete
Lynn, Lynn the city of sinReplyDelete
You never come out, the way you came in
What happens when Carmela's claims are proven true that she actually won the third at-large seat? Three strikes and you are out Lynn!ReplyDelete
That ship has sailed, sport.ReplyDelete
I know that this post has nothing to do with the contents of this post but just wanted to get this out there so people are aware....There is a proposal before the zoning board meeting on 11/5 to construct a veteran's rooming house at 171 Hill Street (formerly Bizzarro's funeral home). Is this by chance a way for them to get the so called wet house in the neighborhood. This zoning change has been requested by Domenica CioffiReplyDelete
Off topic. Now back to high topsDelete
Ask ace. Aka bill dunneDelete
Pizza for everyone but what's this white packet and why is the pizza $100?Delete
"When your day is done and you want to run on............" She don't lie she don't lie.........Delete
A convicted drug felon going to run a wet house. Only in Troy.Delete
abc --anybody BUT carmellaReplyDelete
Thanks for the reporting Jim.ReplyDelete
TU will have a catch-up piece tomorrow.
State DEC sniffing around South Troy, could be some job openings in the city. Remember the Alamo!ReplyDelete
Bought off! Lynn did you get any checks from ABC that may have swayed your vote?ReplyDelete
Do these guys know anything about the law. First of all its libel, not slander. Secondly as public figures you can say most things about them. Thirdly, Kopka saying 'I think they were bought off' is not defamatory. Even without her saying, 'I think' it wouldn't hold up. What a stupid stunt, to sue because your feelings were hurt. You'd think politicians would be a little thicker skinned. Not that I love Lynn Kopka, she seems like a mean troll lady, but this suit has less than zero merit.ReplyDelete
Remember the Alamo!ReplyDelete
To all the Harry haters out there I don't believe he ever proposed or accepted an unbalanced budget. These stooges you put in office are a clear representation of you, incompetent. Bring Mayor Tut back.ReplyDelete
This one is not unbalanced either.Delete
What are the State Police doing sitting down by the Alamo?ReplyDelete
Trying to figure out how one man gets $600 a week in overtime. Read the front page of the TU bigger fish to fry.Delete
Because it's near the jail?Delete
Gary Galumpski must be the brains behind this operation.ReplyDelete
Hey, Jim. The boy king promised his findings in October. Happy November.ReplyDelete