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Doheny mailer incorrectly attributes information to newspaper

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WATERTOWN - A claim on a flyer issued by the campaign of 21st Congressional District candidate Matthew A. Doheny, a Watertown Republican, saying the Watertown Daily Times reported that Elise M. Stefanik was involved in developing the Troubled Asset Relief Program, is not true.

The Doheny campaign, however, in a kind of six-degrees-of-separation process, claims it got the information from the Times.

Here is what the Times blog, Voices in the Crowd, reported in an April 29 post about Ms. Stefanik’s campaign schedule: “Ms. Stefanik worked in the White House from 2006 to 2009 on the Domestic Policy Council staff and in the Chief of Staff’s office, where she worked on economic and domestic policy issues.”

The information came from Ms. Stefanik’s public biography, which is available in more detail on her campaign website. The blog post, which is seven paragraphs long, at no point discusses Ms. Stefanik’s role in the White House or policy decisions on which she may have had input.

Doheny campaign officials acknowledged they are familiar with the Stefanik website’s contents. Campaign Chairman David Catalfamo was unwilling to go on the record on the reasons for the campaign’s decision to attribute the statement to the Times.

However, a search of Times archives for keywords Stefanik and TARP or bailout came up empty, save for a column calling Mr. Doheny to task for associating the two. The paper has never written of Ms. Stefanik’s involvement — or lack of involvement — in the massive federal bailout program authored by President Bush.

The apparent connection between Ms. Stefanik’s resume and the allegation that she supported the bailout at the height of the Great Recession, at least for the Doheny camp, is one where if there’s smoke, there’s fire.

“It’s hard to believe as a domestic policy advisor that Ms. Stefanik would not have had a role in shaping two of the biggest policy issues of the past decade,” Mr. Doheny said in an email to the Times.

The email also said Mr. Doheny is opposed to government bailouts. He did not respond on whether his Wall Street connections made him a beneficiary of a government program that propped up not only Wall Street banks but industries such as the automakers.

Ms. Stefanik, also in an email, said she also is opposed to government bailouts.

“I have made it clear to voters on the campaign trail that I do not support government bailouts, and I will vote against them in Congress,” the email said. “Wall Street insiders — like Matt Doheny — were primarily responsible for causing the financial crisis which led to TARP and the bailouts.”

Ms. Stefanik said her White House experience was important.

“I am proud of my public service at the White House under President George W. Bush,” she said.“From 2006-2007, I served as an aide on the Domestic Policy Council. From 2007-2009, I served as an aide to the Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy.”

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