Today’s news:

E-mail disguised as birthday celebration

TimesLedger Newspapers

Recently I and many other ordinary folks in the community received an e-mail invitation to help celebrate state Sen. Tony Avella’s (D-Bayside) 60th birthday.

The email shouted, “Senator Avella asked me to reach out to you... to help commemorate this once-in-a-liftetime birthday party ....” When I saw this, I thought it was really nice. He is reaching out to me to share his birthday with him.

Oh, wait, now that I opened the invitation, I see the invited guests are being charged a fee to attend his birthday party. Oh, I get it. This is not really about a birthday celebration — it is a political fund-raiser disguised as a birthday celebration. Silly me for thinking the e-mail invitation about a birthday celebration was really about celebrating that special, once-in-a-lifetime birthday event.

As a civic activist, I have received similar invites by other legislators. But I know Avella likes to position himself as an outsider and not just another politician, so I was excited about this invitation, thinking it was the real thing.

The hubris is stunning — politicians sending out e-mail invitations about “once-in-a-lifetime” birthday events and then charging those who they invite. With no disrespect intended, how about a little truth in advertising?

If you’re going to have a fund-raiser, how about labeling it as such? We all get enough spam and do not need fund-raiser e-mails addressed as birthday party celebrations.

Avella, when you do decide to have that special birthday celebration with friends you do not charge, I will be glad to attend and help celebrate it with you. I will be waiting by my mailbox for that invitation.

Bob Friedrich


Glen Oaks Village

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