Sunday, March 30, 2014

Special Election and the Election Law, Run Offs 637

Cuomo Could Delay Skelos Seat Primary to Help the Democrats

The Real Reason There May Be No Special Election on April 19 (YNN) Last month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo suggested that he would call a special election on April 19, which would line up local races with New York’s presidential primary. He hasn’t officially done so yet, and he has until early February to make a final decision. That gives the governor some leeway, although not a ton. Some had suggested that Democrats on Long Island had asked him to hold off. They have selected Assemblyman Todd Kaminsky as their candidate to run for the Skelos seat, and as Jimmy Vielkind astutely pointed out, Democrats have fretted that a fluid national Republican Primary could boost Republican turnout on Strong Island  * The convictions of former state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, a Republican, and ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Democrat, should embarrass both parties and the state Legislature should undertake a bipartisan effort to clean up this mess, the Times Union writes: 


Another Media Story How the Election Law Allows Silver to Pay His Legal Bills and Constitution to Keep His Pension
When Will the Media or the Fake Goo Goos Poll the Lawmakers Individually and Ask Them to Go On the Record to Change the Election Law to Bar Using it for Legal Bills? And to Admen the Constitution to End Pensions to Pols Who Are Convicted of Crimes Against the People
Convicted for corruption, Sheldon Silver still collects a pension thanks to his fellow pols (NYP) Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was convicted of corruption Monday — and by Tuesday, he’d already filed his retirement papers. Who can blame him? Under the state Constitution, he can still collect his juicy pension — close to $100,000 a year, by some estimates. For life. Courtesy of New York taxpayers. Yes, Silver earned millions by steering state cash to a doctor who, in turn, sent patients to his lawfirm. Yes, he backed legislation to help a real-estate firm that hired a law firm he shared fees with. But courts have ruled public pensions are constitutionally protected assets that can’t be seized — even when the pensioners are guilty of gross malfeasance. Yet New York’s Constitution would have to be amended to impose the same kind of penalty on those who took office before then. So the state Senate passed a bill this year calling for just such an amendment. Guess who blocked it? Shelly’s former Assembly colleagues. They claimed the bill was too broad — that it would hit not just elected officials and high-ranking staffers, but also ordinary “janitors.” In fact, Carl Heastie bowed to pressure from organized labor — particularly the teachers union — which feared it might end up costing some members their pensions. And what if it did?


The Election Law Which Silver Made Allows Him to Use His Campaign Finances to Pay Legal Fees
Will Bharara Takes His Pension Away 90,000?
Silver allowed to use campaign finances to pay legal fees (NYP) There’s one bank account that Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara can’t get his asset-freezing fingers on as he plans a likely multimillion-dollar restitution order against Sheldon Silverthe pol’s campaign war chest, which Silver can continue to use to pay legal fees. Records show that the former Assembly speaker spent $1.5 million from his campaign account on lawyers in January and February and had $1.7 million left as of July. Crusaders for campaign reform say it’s galling that state election law allows even a convicted politician to use campaign cash to try to beat p * The A-Team of federal prosecutors puts away crooked polShelly Silver (NYDN Ed) * BARRETT: SILVER’S CAREER A TAPESTRY OF CORRUPTION   (City and State) Party Leaders Pick? If Cuomo calls a special election on April 19 to fill the lower Manhattan seat vacated by former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver after 40 years, party leaders – not voters – will decide who gets to run.* Records show that the former Assembly speaker spent $1.5 million from his campaign account on lawyers in January and February and had $1.7 million left as of July. There is nothing to prevent him from using the rest of that political cash for his legal fees.* Sheldon Silver files for his pension  * After losing his seat when he was convicted of seven federalfelonies, #SheldonSilver has filed for his pension *Dem Leader @AndreaSCousins: Push for Reform in Albany Like ‘Groundhog Day’—Even Post-#SheldonSilver *BDB USES RE INSIDERS TO SELL RE-FRIENDLY HOUSING PLANS,SURPRISED BY REJECTION (ethicsaintpretty)* * Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who was forced from office after being found guilty on federal corruption charges, filed his retirement papers one day after the verdict was reached by a jury, State of Politics reports: * Sheldon Silver seeks his pension but federal prosecutors mayseek to have it forfeited. (NYT) * Sheldon Silver, Found Guilty, Moves to Collect State Pension (NYT)* Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silvefiled for his pension one day after a jury found him guilty on seven counts of corruption. After 44 years of government service, he is eligible to collect about $90,000 a year despite his conviction.



The NYT Is Still Arguing Silver Lawyers Case Daily 
Thursday 
Silver’s central argument for an appeal of his conviction seems likely to be that the government failed to prove a quid-pro-quo relationship existed between Silver and others who prosecutors said benefited from official actions he took on their behalf, The New York Times reports:  * When they appeal his conviction on seven federal corruption charges, Silver’s attorneys are    likely to argue that the government failed to prove that a quid-pro-quo relationship existed between the former assemblyman and others who prosecutors said benefited from official actions he took on their behalf.
 Wednesday The Questionable Ways of Albany,Exposed at Sheldon Silver’s Trial    (NYT)  The former speaker did not disclose Goldberg & Iryami on his annual disclosure form. Rather, for years he disclosed the income he received from another firm that he was associated with, Weitz & Luxenberg, and often added “law practice — fees,” or some variation of that. Mr. Silver’s lawyers argued that their client’s use of the words “law practice” made his disclosure forms accurate because Goldberg & Iryami had made its payments to Mr. Silver through his law practice account. Lisa Reid, the executive director and counsel for the Legislative Ethics Commission of New York, an agency that reviewed Mr. Silver’s annual disclosure forms, seemed to agree in her testimony. “Presuming that the income is coming from your clients and it is going into the law practice, yes, you would only need to list the income as coming from your law practice, correct,” Ms. Reid testified. Mr. Silver’s lawyers argued that their client’s use of the words “law practice” made his disclosure forms accurate because Goldberg & Iryami had made its payments to Mr. Silver through his law practice account. Lisa Reid, the executive director and counsel for the Legislative Ethics Commission of New York, an agency that reviewed Mr. Silver’s annual disclosure forms, seemed to agree in her testimony. “Presuming that the income is coming from your clients and it is going into the law practice, yes, you would only need to list the income as coming from your law practice, correct,” Ms. Reid testified. * During the one-month trial in Federal District Court in Manhattan, Silver’s political career was not the only thing to fall apart. So, too, did the curtain around how many things in Albany really get done.*Silver and his defense team will face an uphill battle inhis appeal, as legal experts who spoke with Politico New York say that the prosecution and the judge were on solid ground in their handling of the case: *Successful appeal unlikely for #SheldonSilver, experts say:



Special Elections Maybe Maybe Not
Staten Island state Assembly seat may sit empty for up to a year, the head of the borough’s Republican party predicted. Current Assemblyman Joe Borelli is running unopposed for a NYC Council seat that was vacated when former Council minority leader Vincent Ignizio resigned, and is possible Cuomo won’t call a special election to fill that vacancy.


Conspiracy to Go Around the City Charter Nonpartisan Elections 
Can you go around the city charter rule of nonpartisan elections?  How does the Boards Ryan know the date when the council candidates will resign?  Are the Councilman timing their departure to go around the electing law?
BOE: No Nonpartisan Special Elections for OpenCity Council Seats (NYO) These upcoming City Council races won’t be so special. A couple of soon-to-be-vacant districts in Staten Island and Queens will not host nonpartisan special elections as many expected because the two councilman don’t plan to resign by June 11. Instead, a general election will be held in November and a primary, depending on when the two councilmen officially resign, will be scheduled for September. “There will be no Council special based on the two vacancies,” said Michael Ryan, the executive director of the New York City Board of Elections. “It’ll be folded into the primary and the general.” Mr. Ryan added that if Staten Island Councilman Vincent Ignizio, who said he will resign sometime this summer to take a position in the nonprofit sector, steps down after July 2nd, the local county organizations will nominate candidates without an open primary. “If the vacancy occurs before July 2nd, there will be a normal petitioning process,” Mr. Ryan said.



NYSTU Breaking the Election Law By Coordinating Its PAC and Political Operation  


GOP head accuses state teachers’ union of violating election laws (NYP)  In a filing obtained by The Post, GOP chair Ed Cox charged that NYSUT, the state’s largest teachers’ union, and its campaign arms have exceeded contribution limits to state Senate Democrats and also share staff, which violates the law.  A new law that took effect in August states that there must be a firewall of separation between PACS and groups making independent expenditures.  Yet the Fund for Great Public Schools, which claims to be an independent political committee, has connections to NYSUT’s PAC, known as VOTE-COPE, according to Cox. Andrew Pallotta is listed as the treasurer of both the PAC and the Fund for Great Public Schools, according to filings viewed by The Post. Both groups also share the same address, 800 Troy-Schenectady Rd,. in Latham, N.Y. outside Albany.  Since Pallotta controls the PAC, he is barred from deciding how the independent expenditure committee spends its money and on whom.  Cox said that both Pallotta and NYSUT spokesman Carl Korn may be crossing the line. “The operational influence and control exercised by Andrew Pallotta and Carl Korn and the capacity in which he serves each entity strongly suggest the activities of the Fund for Great Public Schools constitute `coordination’ under NYS election law,” Cox said in the complaint.  Korn has been quoted as speaking for all three groups– the union, the PAC, and the independent expenditure group, Cox pointed out. “The conduct of NYSUT, VOTE_COPE and the Fund for Great Public Schools clearly amounts to coordination and runs afoul of Section 14-107 of the NYS election law,” Cox said.* Wal-Mart Heir Gives $500K To Education Reform Super PAC (YNN) One of the heirs to retail giant Wal-Mart on Thursday gave $500,000 to New Yorkers For A Balanced Albany, a group that is tied to the education reform group StudentsFirstNY.


True News One Month Ago
Will Bernie Sanders Campaign Reform NY's Election Law?  End Wilson - Pakula
Fact that Bernie Sanders isn't a registered Dem may cause him a problem in some states. * In that 2000 decision, all the candidates were registered Republicans. I see a distinction.  **Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent who describes himself as a “democratic socialist,” will announce his plans to seek the Democratic nomination for president tomorrow, presenting a liberal challenge to Clinton. He’ll be the second major Democrat in the 2016 race. * NY Observer Today Can @BernieSanders Appear on the Democratic Ballot in New York? (NYO)*The state Board of Elections now says that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ party status should not pose a barrier in his attempts to get on the New York Democratic primary ballot for next year’s presidential election.


NY Reformer John McCain The Only One to Reform the Petition Process  . . .  Goo Goos Have Done Nothing
Newspaper editorials and good government groups despite repeated efforts have failed to bring about any reforms in the election systems. The only reform to New York's election system was a result of a lawsuit by John McCain in 2000 because he was keep off the ballot for lack of signatures.  It is sad that will all the editorial and good government press conferences it was the McCain reforms that eliminated minor petition filing mistakes as a reason to knock a candidate off the ballot and made it most simpler to bind the petition and cover sheet that are submitted to the Board of Election.   





Wilson-Pakula Keeps the Corruption and Cult Party Alive
Cuomo Wilson-Pakula Must End
“Something has to be done about Wilson-Pakula and cross-endorsements. You have mayoral candidates that are talking about this outwardly, about what they have to do to get on the ballot. That whole electoral process stinks and has for a long time. I think there’s an opportunity to reform that,” he said. “In an ideal world,” he said, “you’d have no cross endorsements.”* Cuomo says so long to Wilson-Pakula - Legislative Gazette Unlike in most states, New York electoral law permits electoral fusion. As a result, New York ballots tend to list a large number of political parties. The endorsement of major party candidates by smaller parties can be important since smaller parties often use this ballot feature to offer a candidate an additional line on the ballot.
Special Election and the Election Law, Run Offs








NY to Lose Another House Seat to 26 . . .  In the 50's We Had 45 Seats


Report: NY Could Lose Another House Seat (YNN) A report from Election Data Services, which was amplified by attorney Jeff Wice on hiselection law website, found New York is among the nine states that could lose at least one seat in Washington D.C., and with it clout in the federal government. With New York’s population not growing as quickly as the rest of the country, New York’s congressional district number could decline to 26.* Bye bye, New York.Hello, Florida (or North Carolina, or D.C., or Oregon):New Yorkers still leaving in droves  (TU)  The Empire Center is out with findings, based on periodic Census updates, that “During the 12 months ending last July 1, 153,921 more residents moved out of New York than moved into it from other states.” This trend has been going on for years as people leave New York and other Northeastern states like New Jersey for the lower taxes and warmer weather in Sun Belt locations like Florida, or the Carolinas. The study also notes that 653,071 people have moved out of New York since the 2010 Census making for the the largest such decrease of any state. Despite that, the state’s overall population of more than 19 million people is growing slightly. That’s because of the continued arrival of immigrants who come to New York, which is exceeded only by California.



Will Bernie Sanders Campaign Reform NY's Election Law?  End Wilson - Pakula
Fact that Bernie Sanders isn't a registered Dem may cause him a problem in some states. * In that 2000 decision, all the candidates were registered Republicans. I see a distinction.  **Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent who describes himself as a “democratic socialist,” will announce his plans to seek the Democratic nomination for president tomorrow, presenting a liberal challenge to Clinton. He’ll be the second major Democrat in the 2016 race. 


NY Reformer John McCain The Only One to Reform the Petition Process  . . .  Goo Goos Have Done Nothing
Newspaper editorials and good government groups despite repeated efforts have failed to bring about any reforms in the election systems. The only reform to New York's election system was a result of a lawsuit by John McCain in 2000 because he was keep off the ballot for lack of signatures.  It is sad that will all the editorial and good government press conferences it was the McCain reforms that eliminated minor petition filing mistakes as a reason to knock a candidate off the ballot and made it most simpler to bind the petition and cover sheet that are submitted to the Board of Election.   





Wilson-Pakula Keeps the Corruption and Cult Party Alive
Cuomo Wilson-Pakula Must End
“Something has to be done about Wilson-Pakula and cross-endorsements. You have mayoral candidates that are talking about this outwardly, about what they have to do to get on the ballot. That whole electoral process stinks and has for a long time. I think there’s an opportunity to reform that,” he said. “In an ideal world,” he said, “you’d have no cross endorsements.”* Cuomo says so long to Wilson-Pakula - Legislative Gazette Unlike in most states, New York electoral law permits electoral fusion. As a result, New York ballots tend to list a large number of political parties. The endorsement of major party candidates by smaller parties can be important since smaller parties often use this ballot feature to offer a candidate an additional line on the ballot.

For Months True News Was Reporting On the Boss Controlled Special Elections . . .  Today the Daily News Agrees 


Special delivery:Time to consign undemocratic boss-driven special elections to history (NYDN) Let these be the last two contests conducted under New York’s grossly undemocratic special election law. That statute cuts out the usual party primaries, thereby empowering Democratic and Republican bosses to put whatever loyal soldiers they choose on the ballot. Voters get no real choice about who represents them — especially in places where one party dominates, as Democrats do in most of New York City. To give voters input — and give upstart candidates a fair shot — special elections must be reformed in one of two ways. Option 1: Quickly hold special party primaries, followed by a special general election. Option 2: Following the model used to fill vacancies in New York City offices, quickly hold nonpartisan elections without party labels. To his credit, Cuomo has previously avoided calling special elections to prevent bosses from gaming the system. But Brooklyn Federal Judge Jack Weinstein ruled that promptly filling Grimm’s seat is a constitutional necessity — forcing Cuomo to invoke the special-election law. No more.* N.Y.’s undemocratic elections (NYDN)

Previously Reported in True News
Party Bosses and Special Elections 
Who Picks Grimm's Replacement the Bosses or the Voters
Cuomo was right to prevent party boss selection for former Rep. Michael Grimm’s seat, and he should either hold special party primaries and a special general election or one special nonpartisan election, the DailyNews writes: * Cuomo: Special Elections Are Expensive To Hold (YNN) GOP lawyers Constituents of Grimm's Former District Take Call forSpecial Election to Court(NY1)*  argued in federal court today that Cuomo must immediately allow a special election to replace former Rep. Michael Grimm, claiming the governor has failed to provide a valid reason for posposting such a vote.*  WATCH: Special election plaintiff compares Cuomo to Southern states that disenfranchised black voters (SI Advance) David Pascarella, a Staten Island lawyer and member of the Republican Party, is one of eight plaintiffs suing Gov. Andrew Cuomo.* 'The governor is a governor, not a king,' argues attorney inhearing to force Cuomo to set special election * Cuomo attorneys argue against special-election suit (Capital) * Cuomo’s attorneys argued that a legal effort to force him to call a special election for former Rep. Michael Grimm’s seat is an “extraordinary and drastic remedy” for a nonexistent problem, Capital New York reports *Staten Island Democratic Party Vice ChairAnnounces Bid for Congress (NYO) * Frank Sedita, head of the state District Attorneys Association, said prosecutors have significant concerns about Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman’s plans to open up the grand jury process, Gannett Albanyreports Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Gov. George Pataki were among the big names in New York politics to attend a Manhattan fundraiser last night for Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan’s bid for Congress. 





Special Elections No Longer A Demand for Reforms 
Cuomo Orders Special Elections May 5th Not A Word About Reform to Add Primaries 

Progressives Disconnect From Reform
Primaries Also Needed For Special Elections (NYT, 1990) The New York State Legislature should reform the election law to enable voters to have more input in the selection of candidates running for Congress and the State Legislature in special elections. In early 1990 there will be a host of special elections around the state because of vacancies resulting from last November's elections. There are three Assembly vacancies and one Congressional vacancy to be filled in a winter special election.
More On Grimm Replacement Race


Donovan Road to Congress Full Of Mine Fields   

Attacks From Editorial Blasting Special Ballot Rules Undemocratic And Blacks Demanding That Cuomo Not Call A Special That Elects Donovan

In Special Elections Tammany Hall Rules
The NYT & Daily News called the party rules which go back to boss Tweed  that allow one man rule undemocratic. Corrupt coming out of party leaders selling access to their ballot lines.  *Citizens Union reported that a third of the Legislature was first anointed as candidates in these back-room, special-election deals. Special elections aren’t really elections — they’re coronations by party leaders,” Dadey said, noting that party bosses choose the candidates, who then, without the public scrutiny of a primary campaign, almost invariably win.  Once “coronated,” these special-elected pols are almost inevitably re-elected, Dadey said. New York state incumbents are re-elected at an astounding 94-percent rate.  New York’s Especially Undemocratic Elections  (NYT Ed) * Campaign against the Tweed Ring 

Where is the Outrage Over the NY Tammany Hall Party Rules That Allow Party Leaders Pick Elected Official? Will Donavan Opponent Demand Albany Change the Special Election law 

Way For Garner Protesters to Get Even With Donavan is to Change the Election Law
Only in NY at the same time Malcolm Smith and Queens GOP party leader Vincent Tabone are on trial for buying and selling the GOP ballot line for mayor a handful (31) Staten Island party members will because of voting patterns pick the next congressman from the 11th congressional district. All this is happening without an editorial from newspaper which have in the past condemned party control of special election.  

In the 1990's The NYT Demanded Un-Bossed Special Election . . .  Demanded Primaries
Primaries Also Needed For Special Elections - New York Times

In early 1990 there will be a host of special elections around the state because of vacancies resulting from last  November's elections. There are three Assembly vacancies and one Congressional vacancy to be filled in a winter special election. Although it is the voters who will be able to choose the ultimate winner, it will be the party bosses who will have the power to nominate the party candidates.

 Newsday Editorial: End party tyranny of New York elections
In New York, it's difficult to get on the ballot without the support of a party leader. Lacking that support means braving a petition process that works against newcomers, who tend to lack money and staff. If you are a registered member of a different party, it's even more difficult. The convoluted rules for granting a certificate to nonmembers like Smith to run on another party's ballot line are set out in the Wilson-Pakula Act of 1947 -- a minefield party leaders use to get things in return.State Sen. Malcolm Smith, a Queens Democrat, was accused last week of plotting to bribe Republican Party leaders in New York City for their permission to run for mayor as a Republican. The case is shocking in its brazenness, but it also highlights a system that enables bad behavior. No laws can stop wrongdoers. But the state's election system, beyond encouraging illegal manipulation, allows legal maneuvering that is almost as bad. In 2009, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg traversed this process legally and got permission to run again on the Republican line for re-election. Bloomberg had changed his registration from Republican to independent in 2007, but the more than $3 million he has donated to state and county Republican groups since 2000 smoothed his way.* The “Albany Madness” bracket, in which you decide which elected official is most corrupt, is open for voting.

IS EIGHT ENOUGH? OR TWO TOO MANY?


NY's Corrupt Election Law Which Favors Party Leaders Over the Citizen May Become A Factor In the Lt Gov Race
Cuomo may dump Hochul, fearing a Tim Wu primary win(NYP) Gov. Cuomo’s political operatives are eyeing a “painful scenario’’ to dump Kathy Hochul, a moderate upstater, as the governor’s running mate for lieutenant governor amid growing signs that leftist law professor Tim Wu is picking up momentum in the Sept. 9 Democratic primary. Such an action could be needed because a Wu victory would result in a Cuomo/Wu ticket on the Democratic line in the November election but potentially disastrous Cuomo/Hochul tickets on the Working Families, Independence, and Women’s Equality lines, where no primaries are slated. Under the state Election Law, votes for a Cuomo/Hochul ticket in November would not be added to the tally for the Cuomo/Wu ticket, potentially costing Cuomo hundreds of thousands of votes.


 Wilson-Pakula Keeps the Corruption and Cult Party Alive
Cuomo Wilson-Pakula Must End
“Something has to be done about Wilson-Pakula and cross-endorsements. You have mayoral candidates that are talking about this outwardly, about what they have to do to get on the ballot. That whole electoral process stinks and has for a long time. I think there’s an opportunity to reform that,” he said. “In an ideal world,” he said, “you’d have no cross endorsements.”* Cuomo says so long to Wilson-Pakula - Legislative Gazette
Unlike in most states, New York electoral law permits electoral fusion. As a result, New York ballots tend to list a large number of political parties. The endorsement of major party candidates by smaller parties can be important since smaller parties often use this ballot feature to offer a candidate an additional line on the ballot.

NY Reformer John McCain The Only One to Reform the Petition Process
Newspaper editorials and good government groups despite repeated efforts have failed to bring about any reforms in the election systems. The only reform to New York's election system was a result of a lawsuit by John McCain in 2000 because he was keep off the ballot for lack of signatures.  It is sad that will all the editorial and good government press conferences it was the McCain reforms that eliminated minor petition filing mistakes as a reason to knock a candidate off the ballot and made it most simpler to bind the petition and cover sheet that are submitted to the Board of Election.   




New York's Third Party Racket
3rd Parties Benefit Insiders who control them, elected officials
Party favors(NYP)   New York’s near-unique system, which allows cross-endorsements.  The history of third-party candidates in America, of course, suggests they triumph rarely and in highly exceptional circumstances. Then again, they are not primarily about winning. Primarily they are about pushing Democrats or Republicans in a certain direction — or punishing them when they have strayed too far from principles important to a significant number of their supporters.  In New York, a third party that runs its own candidate takes a risk. That’s because a party must draw 50,000 votes in the gubernatorial race to keep its automatic line. The less well-known a third-party candidate, the less likely he or she will meet that threshold — and enable the party to keep its coveted line on the ballot. Which is why New York’s minor parties have largely devolved from movements of principle into often-corrupt ­patronage mills. Reviving the Liberal line, which has  been off the ballot since 2002, would be convenient for Cuomo. But it serves no pressing need and offers no alternative. It’s a reminder that when politicians can get more than one line on a ballot, they are the ones who benefit, not the voter.* Former New York Liberal Party head Ray Harding charged with taking kickbacks in pension fund scheme (NYDN)

The left-leaning, union-backed Working Families Party, which let itself be shanghaied four years ago into backing Andrew Cuomo for governor, is now signaling it may run a candidate against him. Meanwhile, John Catsimatidis, the supermarket mogul who lost last year’s GOP mayoral primary to Joe Lhota, is offering to bankroll a revival of the long-dead Liberal Party — and give Gov. Cuomo the Liberal line on the state ballot. As our readers know, The Post has little common ground with the WFP, which acts as another political arm for the unions. But in seeking to to run its own candidate against an incumbent Democratic governor, the WFP is doing exactly what a third party should be doing: offering an alternative. That’s in sharp contrast to the Catsimatis effort over at the Liberal Party, which far from giving voters more choice only gives the Democratic incumbent an extra line on the ballot.
More on GOP Bottom Feeders And Corruption
More on WFP, Acorn 2.0 and the New Progressive Machine 


The Record # of Incumbents Defeated in the 1972 (McGoven) Primary Led to NY's Separate and Unequal Turnout  Primaries 

Primary Waste
THE IRRATIONALITY OF MULTIPLE PRIMARIES: New York State's multiple primaries don't just fleece taxpayers, they also drive down New York's already abysmal voter turnout, writes Dr. Jeanne Zaino in City & State:

The McGoven Primary Lesson Still Rules
40 Years Ago George McGovern Pull Out Thousands of New Voters in A Primary, A Lot of Albany Incumbents Lost - Schumer and Holtzman and Others Entered

By not consolidating state and federal primaries into one day, taxpayer money is wasted and incentives are created for politicians to run for multiple offices at once without any real consequences, former New York City Councilman Adam Clayton Powell 4th writes in the Daily News: 

Why 2 Primaries in Presidential Election Years
An Expensive and Unnecessary Election(NYT Ed) The extra New York State primary will cost state taxpayers $50 million for their trouble. New York State is poised to put voters through another needlessly expensive election year. Instead of taking the sensible route — one primary to pick party candidates and one general election to pick ultimate winners — New York is scheduled to have an extra primary. That means three elections when two are enough. The extra primary will cost state taxpayers $50 million for their trouble. The Assembly was right to challenge this scenario with a bill providing for federal, state and local primaries on the fourth Tuesday in June (the 24th this year). That gives officials plenty of time to count ballots and announce nominees for the November general election. It also allows the state to comply with federal law that requires primaries to be held early enough so that troops overseas can get ballots and mail them back in time to be counted. The Senate, however, has yet to agree to a single June primary. Its members want a federal primary in June and a separate state and local primary (which would include their own primary elections) in September. It’s been that way for 40 years, and the Senate, which is now almost evenly divided between the two major parties, seems intent on resisting change.



* The City Council is moving forward with a package of legislation that would ban anonymous campaign mailers and force Super PAC-like groups to list their top donors in print, the Observer reports: http://goo.gl/Eadqdl

. looks to ban anonymous campaign mailers

No Corrupt Special Elections This Years
No special elections will be called to fill state legislative vacancies this year, the governor said, leaving almost 1.8 million voters without representation, the Buffalo News writes:

NYT Ignores NY Anti-Voting Laws
Today's NYT   Suppressing the Vote(NYT Ed) A misguided federal court ruling opens the door to more anti-voting laws.

How About Passing A Special Election Reform Law to Included Primaries Called the Boyland Law?
NY's Anti-Voting Laws
NY State has 12 senate and assembly districts without representation because the governor does not want to allow the party leaders to pick elected officials. The NYT and the Goo Goos have been silent on this problem of almost 1 million New Yorkers not having a representative during this budget year.  Former Assemblyman Boyland who not sits in jail was picked by party leaders and elected in a special election where less than 1200 people voted.


Boyland Wants Bail William Boyland’s ex stands by cheating man(NYDN)* Convicted ex-Assemblyman desperate to make bail(NYP)



Wilson-Pakula Keeps the Cult Party Alive
Cuomo Wilson-Pakula Must End
“Something has to be done about Wilson-Pakula and cross-endorsements. You have mayoral candidates that are talking about this outwardly, about what they have to do to get on the ballot. That whole electoral process stinks and has for a long time. I think there’s an opportunity to reform that,” he said. “In an ideal world,” he said, “you’d have no cross endorsements.”* Cuomo says so long to Wilson-Pakula - Legislative Gazette



12 State Vacancies: 
Blame Silver and Skelos for the Special Election Law
The Boss Elections
A dozen districts left in lurch by Boyland conviction(NYP) The conviction of greedy Brooklyn payola pol William Boyland Jr. means there are now 12 districts across the state that don’t have representation in ­Albany — and might not all year. A spokesman for Gov. Cuomo said nothing has changed since January, when the governor told reporters “we are looking at” the possibility of calling special elections, even though they are “very expensive.” “But these special elections aren’t really elections — they’re coronations by party leaders,” Dadey said, noting that party bosses choose the candidates, who then, without the public scrutiny of a primary campaign, almost invariably win.  Once “coronated,” these special-elected pols are almost inevitably re-elected, Dadey said. New York state incumbents are re-elected at an astounding 94-percent rate. Boyland himself was installed in the district covering Flatbush, Brownsville, Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights via a special election in 2003, Dadey noted. * Common Cause, Citizens Union call for Borough Presidents to follow Stringer's reforms in selecting Community Board members; Markowitz's AY purge cited(AYR)

NYT Calls NY's Special Elections Scams and Undemocratic

In Special Elections Tammany Hall Rules

In the passed True News point out that if the governor called a special election to fill the Weiner seat one man corrupt Queens boss Joe Crowley would pick the next congressman from the 9th district.  Today the NYT & Daily News called the party rules which go back to boss Tweed  that allow one man rule undemocratic.  The NYT did not get into why Albany does not want to change the party rules.  Incumbents get help when challengers pop up from Board of Elections which is controlled by the county leaders.  Most time those the BOE makes sure challengers cannot make it passed what the NYT called "not great" NY political parties ballot access rules. The NYT also did not talk about how the same party rules give the party leaders control who become a Supreme Court Judge in the state. Or about all the corrupt coming out of party leaders selling access to their ballot lines. 


True News Wags NYT
The NYT did say: "This scam is even worse in state races in New York. Citizens Union reported recently that a third of the Legislature was first anointed as candidates in these back-room, special-election deals. Mr. Cuomo didn’t have to hand those six open seats to the bosses. State law says that the governor can call a special election to fill open seats in the Legislature or wait until the next election. He can now start making amends to New Yorkers by pushing to change the state’s special election laws, so the voters, not party bigwigs, get to choose who represents them"  The Daily News says: " Long term, Cuomo aides say there's another solution: to persuade legislators to rewrite the law under which they were, in effect, appointed to office so the governor would be required to call for open primaries whenever possible.  As if Lopez and Crowley would sit still as their power was voted away. Right. Sure. Dream on."

For Democracy Can the NYT, Daily News  Act Like Harper's Weekly
For the NYT Own Good They Should Put As Much Energy Into Cleaning Up NY's Elections From Boss Run Scams as the Paper Put Into the Passage of NY's Gay Marrage. New York’s Especially Undemocratic Elections  (NYT Ed) * Campaign against the Tweed Ring

Goo Goos: Reforms Have Their Press Conferences . . . And Nothing Happens

Common Cause Calls On Gov. Cuomo To Call Special ...

This Year's Not-So-Special Elections - New York Observer

 

Unlike in most states, New York electoral law permits electoral fusion. As a result, New York ballots tend to list a large number of political parties. The endorsement of major party candidates by smaller parties can be important since smaller parties often use this ballot feature to offer a candidate an additional line on the ballot. 


New York's Third Party Racket
3rd Parties Benefit Insiders who control them, elected officials
Party favors(NYP)   New York’s near-unique system, which allows cross-endorsements.  The history of third-party candidates in America, of course, suggests they triumph rarely and in highly exceptional circumstances. Then again, they are not primarily about winning. Primarily they are about pushing Democrats or Republicans in a certain direction — or punishing them when they have strayed too far from principles important to a significant number of their supporters.  In New York, a third party that runs its own candidate takes a risk. That’s because a party must draw 50,000 votes in the gubernatorial race to keep its automatic line. The less well-known a third-party candidate, the less likely he or she will meet that threshold — and enable the party to keep its coveted line on the ballot. Which is why New York’s minor parties have largely devolved from movements of principle into often-corrupt ­patronage mills. Reviving the Liberal line, which has been off the ballot since 2002, would be convenient for Cuomo. But it serves no pressing need and offers no alternative. It’s a reminder that when politicians can get more than one line on a ballot, they are the ones who benefit, not the voter.* Former New York Liberal Party head Ray Harding charged with taking kickbacks in pension fund scheme (NYDN)

The left-leaning, union-backed Working Families Party, which let itself be shanghaied four years ago into backing Andrew Cuomo for governor, is now signaling it may run a candidate against him. Meanwhile, John Catsimatidis, the supermarket mogul who lost last year’s GOP mayoral primary to Joe Lhota, is offering to bankroll a revival of the long-dead Liberal Party — and give Gov. Cuomo the Liberal line on the state ballot. As our readers know, The Post has little common ground with the WFP, which acts as another political arm for the unions. But in seeking to to run its own candidate against an incumbent Democratic governor, the WFP is doing exactly what a third party should be doing: offering an alternative. That’s in sharp contrast to the Catsimatis effort over at the Liberal Party, which far from giving voters more choice only gives the Democratic incumbent an extra line on the ballot.
More on GOP Bottom Feeders And Corruption
More on WFP, Acorn 2.0 and the New Progressive Machine 
More on Independence Party Is Really A Cult 
Conservative Party Permanent Leader Long 

 


Questioning Continued Use of Special Elections by ...


Cuomo Approves National Popular Vote Bill(YNN)

New York joins campaign to end Electoral College role in presidential elections(NYDN)


* Though he took only roughly 60,000 votes with his 2010 gubernatorial run, Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins said he’s looking to quadruple his votes this year and lodge a strong protest against Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s and Democrats’ policies, the Post-Standard writes: http://goo.gl/KIig7o
One Party NY Presidential Bypass

Albany could vault New York into a powerful and lucrative position on the national stage by doing away with the winner-take-all apportionment of the state's votes in the Electoral College, writes James Coll of ChangeNYS.org in City & State:



Special Elections
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I would advise him that we should. The problem is that by law we would miss the budget enactment and once the budget is enacted there isn’t a lot that would be considered between now and the end of the year.” – Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on Gov. Andrew Cuomo's decision of when to call special elections for vacant legislative seats, via State of Politics.  * Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver called for special elections for vacant seats in the Legislature but added that the budget timeline should play a factor in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s timing on calling elections, State of Politics writes: http://bit.ly/1cX5npI




The McGoven Primary Lesson Still Rules

40 Years Ago George McGovern Pull Out Thousands of New Voters in A Primary, A Lot of Albany Incumbents Lost - Schumer and Holtzman and Others Entered

By not consolidating state and federal primaries into one day, taxpayer money is wasted and incentives are created for politicians to run for multiple offices at once without any real consequences, former New York City Councilman Adam Clayton Powell 4th writes in the Daily News: 
 
Why 2 Primaries in Presidential Election Years
An Expensive and Unnecessary Election(NYT Ed) The extra New York State primary will cost state taxpayers $50 million for their trouble. New York State is poised to put voters through another needlessly expensive election year. Instead of taking the sensible route — one primary to pick party candidates and one general election to pick ultimate winners — New York is scheduled to have an extra primary. That means three elections when two are enough. The extra primary will cost state taxpayers $50 million for their trouble. The Assembly was right to challenge this scenario with a bill providing for federal, state and local primaries on the fourth Tuesday in June (the 24th this year). That gives officials plenty of time to count ballots and announce nominees for the November general election. It also allows the state to comply with federal law that requires primaries to be held early enough so that troops overseas can get ballots and mail them back in time to be counted. The Senate, however, has yet to agree to a single June primary. Its members want a federal primary in June and a separate state and local primary (which would include their own primary elections) in September. It’s been that way for 40 years, and the Senate, which is now almost evenly divided between the two major parties, seems intent on resisting change.

* Green Party activist Howie Hawkins is set to make a gubernatorial run after his 2010 campaign netted him 59,906 votes, enough to keep the party on the ballot for the coming election, State of Politics writes: http://goo.gl/bdTu0N




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Special Elections and June Primaries


NYS Senate Dems To Push For June Primaries But Senate GOP and Independent Dems Oppose It
Gov. Cuomo Doesn't Have 'Any Plans as of Now' to Call Special Elections(NYO)
Board of Elections Seeks to Move Federal Primaries to June, Reducing Voters' Trips to the Polls 
Cuomo said that the state Legislature may look to reform the controversial Common Core standards, but added that while he is monitoring the issue it is not something he can control, Gannett Albany writes: * The state Board of Elections agreed to propose the final Tuesday in June as the date for federal, state, and local primary elections to U.S. District Court Judge Gary Sharpe, who oversees the state’s compliance with absentee ballot laws, the Times Union writes:
Federal Judge Approves June Primary Date(YNN) As expected, U.S. District Court Judge Gary Sharpe on Thursday designated the fourth Tuesday in June as the date to hold Congressional primaries in New York.* * State Senate Democrats introduced a bill moving state primaries from September to June to coincide with federal primaries for Congress, saying it would save the state at least $50 million and increase turnout, the Times Union writes:  . * Nine spots in the state legislature are set to be vacant when the legislative session begins Wednesday, and there isn’t an indication if special elections will be called to fill the seats, Gannett Albany reports:   * The Times Union writes that moving state and loc
 al primaries to June would save money, encourage better turnout and be an all-around win for democracy. 




Coming Soon More Undemocratic Special Elections?

Nothing Has Changed Since the NYT  Published This Letter in 1990

In early 1990 there will be a host of special elections around the state because of vacancies resulting from last November's elections. There are three Assembly vacancies and one Congressional vacancy to be filled in a winter special election.

Although it is the voters who will be able to choose the ultimate winner, it will be the party bosses who will have the power to nominate the party candidates. Under New York State law there is no provision for a primary election to take place in special elections. In Brooklyn alone special elections might be need for William Boyland Jr., Inez Barron, Raphael Espinal, Alan Meisel, John Sampson and Eric Adams. Will Cuomo not call for special elections to fill these seats like he did in the Bronx or will the county leaders who Cuomo needs to roll up big numbers in 2014 pressure he to allow them to fill the seats in Special Elections.  What is clear Albany won't fix the problem of Special ElectionsGov. Cuomo opts against special election for open Bronx Assembly

Electoral fusion is an arrangement where two or more political parties on a ballot list the same candidate, pooling the votes for that candidate. Distinct from the process of electoral alliances in that the political parties remain separately listed on the ballot, the practice of electoral fusion in jurisdictions where it exists allows minor parties to influence election results and policy by offering to endorse or nominate a major party's candidate.
Electoral fusion is also known as fusion voting, cross-endorsement, multiple party nomination, multi-party nomination, plural nomination, and ballot-freedom.[1][2]

New York

Fusion has the highest profile in New York, where it was used as a major weapon against Tammany Hall. Most legislative and judicial elections are won by candidates endorsed by more than two parties.
In order to obtain or maintain automatic ballot access, a party's candidate for governor of New York must receive 50,000 votes on that party's line. The party need not run its own candidate and may cross-nominate another party's candidate, but in order to qualify for automatic ballot access it must receive 50,000 votes on its own line. Gubernatorial vote also determines ballot order, with Row "A" going to the party whose line gains the most votes (regardless of whether or not their candidate actually wins - see the 1994 election for an example).
Automatic ballot access means that no petitions need be filed to gain access to a ballot line for statewide and special elections, and parties may designate candidates through their own conventions. (Legislative candidates must petition onto the ballot regardless of party designation.) For local (non-statewide) office, the number of signatures required to place a candidate on the ballot is much lower for qualified parties, and they are the only parties eligible to hold primary elections. Automatic ballot access is valid for four years, and parties must gain 50,000 votes in the next gubernatorial election to again qualify for automatic ballot access.
Small parties significant in large part for their fused ballot lines, include the Independence Party of New York, the Working Families Party, and the Conservative Party of New York State. The Independence Party originally ran its own candidate for governor until 2002, but since then has instead retained its automatic ballot status by running a gubernatorial candidate who was designated by one of the major parties. Previously influential were the Liberal Party of New York and New York State Right to Life Party, which lost automatic ballot access in 2002. The Green Party, which had first achieved ballot status in 1998, failed to gain 50,000 votes and also lost its ballot status in 2002, but regained its line when the 2010 election results were certified.
Other parties, such as the Libertarian Party of New York, and the Green Party of New York, and others, now seek ballot access by, first, getting a gubernatorial candidate on the ballot via petition (by collecting 15,000 valid signatures of registered voters), and then by getting 50,000 votes for that candidate on their line.
The Liberal Party, which had been active since 1944, became defunct as a result of the 2002 gubernatorial election. Andrew Cuomo got the Liberal Party nomination and ran in the Democratic primary against Carl McCall, who had secured the Working Families nomination. Cuomo subsequently dropped out and endorsed McCall, but his name remained on the Liberal party line and failed to gain 50,000 votes, leading to the Liberal Party's failure to retain status and losing its automatic ballot line. A Federal lawsuit (joined by Green, Libertarian, and other parties) enjoined the Board of Elections from discarding enrollment records of these disqualified parties, and also required modifications to allow voters to register themselves in non-ballot parties.
today, fusion as conventionally practiced remains legal in only eight states, namely:
 Newsday Editorial: End party tyranny of New York elections
In New York, it's difficult to get on the ballot without the support of a party leader. Lacking that support means braving a petition process that works against newcomers, who tend to lack money and staff. If you are a registered member of a different party, it's even more difficult. The convoluted rules for granting a certificate to nonmembers like Smith to run on another party's ballot line are set out in the Wilson-Pakula Act of 1947 -- a minefield party leaders use to get things in return.State Sen. Malcolm Smith, a Queens Democrat, was accused last week of plotting to bribe Republican Party leaders in New York City for their permission to run for mayor as a Republican. The case is shocking in its brazenness, but it also highlights a system that enables bad behavior. No laws can stop wrongdoers. But the state's election system, beyond encouraging illegal manipulation, allows legal maneuvering that is almost as bad. In 2009, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg traversed this process legally and got permission to run again on the Republican line for re-election. Bloomberg had changed his registration from Republican to independent in 2007, but the more than $3 million he has donated to state and county Republican groups since 2000 smoothed his way.* The “Albany Madness” bracket, in which you decide which elected official is most corrupt, is open for voting.

 

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