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Josh, It’s Time to Take a Leave of Absence

Josh Slaughter The South Shore PressWith a little over eight weeks until Election Day, the number of press releases and photos that have been coming into The South Shore Press could fill the whole paper.
Those serving in office have the power of the incumbency. As an elected official you get invited to community events. You speak at meetings and hand out awards. You do your job and the media covers your activities.
However, that is not the case in this year’s race for the Suffolk County Legislature’s 3rd District because there is no incumbent.
Long term Legislator Kate Browning is termed limited out and can’t run for re-election, so there’s an open seat.
The Democrats have chosen longtime Browning aide Josh Slaughter to run as their candidate, while the Republicans have chosen Mastic Fire Chief Rudy Sunderman.
Some have said this will be the hottest election on this year’s calendar and we agree.
Both these candidates have long resumes and hopefully one of them will bring change to county government.
However, Mr. Slaughter has been using his public, taxpayer funded position to campaign. It may be one thing for an incumbent elected official to do this, but it’s completely wrong to allow staff members to do this.
The number of press releases we receive from Legislator Browning’s office showing Mr. Slaughter by himself or with the Legislator has increased two-fold.
This week, we received a press release from Legislator Browning’s office welcoming a new business. Mr. Slaughter is shown presenting a certificate welcoming the new business. What’s odd about the release is Mr. Slaughter is the only official in the photo. No other elected officials were in the photo. No chamber or community representatives were in the photo. Just Mr. Slaughter.
We have been told that Mr. Slaughter is handing out his own informational cards while representing Legislator Browning.
All of this is being done on the taxpayer’s dime.
Mr. Slaughter is making $100,000 with his pay and benefits, which includes medical and dental, sick, vacation and personal days.
We believe this is wrong.
To avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, The South Shore Press believes that Mr. Slaughter should take a leave of absence from his taxpayer funded position.
If he refuses, Legislator Browning, his boss should make him take the leave. She should not let her governmental office be used as a staging area for Mr. Slaughter’s campaign.
We are shocked that Browning has allowed this abuse of taxpayers’ funds to go on right under her nose, but maybe she’s wasting too much time on Facebook or planning her next campaign for State Senate.
Come on Josh, since you don’t have your own list of accomplishments yet, stand up, take a leave of absence and show the voters you are serious as you ask for their support and vote!

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