This morning, I got an email from Fred Ricks telling me that my report that he dropped out of the 79 AD race is flat wrong.
Good day sir my name is Fred Ricks and I am currently a candidate in the 79th district for the assembly seat. I will be a candidate until the race is over on September 9th 2014, at which time the peoples voice will be heard and I will become assemblyman of the 79th AD.
I suggest that you retract your statement in reference my candidacy. I strongly urge that you screen your resources thoroughly moving forward in order to avoid any liability law suites (sic). Moving forward to improve the 79th AD.
I wish to thank Mr. Ricks for reaching out to me for a correction. As I responded via email, I will do so forthwith. Since I had seen little evidence of an active campaign and found that Mr. Ricks had not filed the required 32 Day Pre Primary campaign finance disclosure report with the State Board of Elections, I figured that my community sources were accurate. As of his July 15 filing, Fred Ricks 2014 reported only $850 cash-on-hand (out of $950 raised).
I must, however, inform Mr. Ricks that no liability is incurred for honestly reporting that a campaign was moribund. And as a public figure, Mr. Ricks would have to prove that what I wrote was done in malice and in an effort to hurt his campaign. It’s a rather high standard to meet. Plus, I bear no malice towards Mr. Ricks.
I look forward to chatting with Mr. Ricks about his sense of the issues and to learn of his vision for the assembly district.
Michael Benjamin is a columnist and blogger as well as a former state legislator who represented the 79 AD, 2003-2010.