O’MARA CALLS OPPONENT’S ‘RAISED ON A FARM’ STORY AN OUTRIGHT LIE
Elmira, N.Y., November 6—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C,I-Big Flats), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today called his opponent’s claim that she was “raised on a farm” an outright lie.
O’Mara has challenged this claim throughout the campaign.
“Most farmers I know value honesty. That’s clearly not the case with my opponent. Our farmers could take Leslie’s story about being raised on a farm and spread it on their fields,” said O’Mara.
O’Mara particularly challenged Danks Burke’s claim, which she has used throughout her campaign and is using again in her latest mailing, that she was “raised on a farm” in Colorado. He called her story an outright lie and further pointed to the fact that the family farmers that she claims her parents to be have in fact utilized farming as an entryway into obtaining lucrative, taxpayer-funded federal government subsidies in the amount of more than $1.5 million from 1995-2014.
“Leslie Danks Burke has portrayed herself as having grown up on a farm raised by hard-working farmers. It’s an outright lie and it’s demeaning to every farmer that I know who has truly spent his or her life in farming,” said O’Mara.
O’Mara charged that Danks Burke never grew up on a farm in Colorado. Her father, William, was an attorney in the city of Denver while Danks Burke was growing up. He remains a registered attorney but he and his wife, Noblet, did make a move to a farm north of Denver after their daughter left for college.
One long-time Denver publication, Westword, now a part of the Voice Media Group, in a February 28, 2002 article titled “Farmer on the dole,” wrote that Mr. Danks fits the “description of a farmer who earns a living despite his crops, not because of them.” In the article, Mr. Danks is quoted as saying, “If this were my real life, I couldn’t do it.”
This specific article examined a penchant among a number of Denver-area citizens, like Mr. Danks, who found farming an entryway to lucrative government subsidies. [See the following link to the article: http://www.westword.com/news/farmer-on-the-dole-5069262]
O’Mara said, “I’m proud of the case we’ve made on the merits of my record of commitment, experience and results. We’ve made a case on the strength of the issues, including my record of fighting for tax relief, manufacturing, job creation, infrastructure quality, conservation, schools, farmers, mandate relief, addressing the heroin and opioid epidemic, public safety and security, and so much more. I’m extremely proud of the positive campaign we’ve run. I believe it’s what the voters of the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier deserve and expect, and I look forward to continue working with them for a better and stronger future.”