Paterson was right to cancel sham special election in
Tuesday, August 11th
Embarrassing as it
was for Gov. Paterson to call a special election in
Queens' 38th Assembly District - then,
hours later, cancel it - he ended up right. Voters should choose a
representative through a full-fledged, open primary election, not
a party-rigged sham. Especially after what they've been through.
Residents of the 38th
– covering Ridgewood,
and OzonePark - were long
represented by Tony
Seminerio. In classic
Albany form, he
pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges in June and left
office. The primary to replace him was set for Sept. 15, and
several Democratic candidates had already submitted papers to run.
Then, out of nowhere
last Friday, Paterson
called a special election, on the cockamamie theory that the
district couldn't wait until January to have a new Assembly member
sworn in. That move would have nixed the primary and instead let
Democratic Party bosses install a successor to Seminerio, i.e.,
handpick a tool.
realized his error. A few hours after authorizing the special
election, aides said their boss hadn't made up his mind yet after
with your second instinct, governor. Let the voters
backtracks on special election for Seminerio’s
Howard Koplowitz Friday, August 7, 2009
announcing a special election to fill disgraced former Assemblyman
Anthony Seminerio’s (D-Richmond Hill) seat, Gov. David Paterson
reversed himself, saying “no final decision has been
Paterson’s office sent
out a news release saying he had called a special election for
Sept. 15, Primary Day, to fill the seat.
But less than four
hours later, at ,
Paterson said the
release “has been recalled.”
“No final decision has been
made at this time with respect to a Special Election in the 38th
spokeswoman Marissa Shorenstein said in the new
Seminerio pleaded guilty in June to corruption
charges, causing a vacancy. He admitted to taking roughly $1
million in illegal payments, including $390,000 from
JamaicaHospital and its
Medicaid-managed health care plan.
Paterson: Don't Call
38th AD Special
The Dailynews Blog: Elizabeth
good government groups have joined the call for Gov. David
Paterson to abandon his plans to hold a special election to fill
the 38th AD seat vacated by former Assemblyman Tony Seminerio.
NYPIRG, Citizens Union, the League of Women Voters and
Common Cause/NY sent a letter to
Paterson last week
voicing opposition to a special, noting that to call one would
enable Democratic Party leaders to all but hand-pick Seminero's
groups also oppose holding a special - should one occur - on the
same day as the September primary, arguing that turnout in primary
elections is "a fraction" of that in general elections.
last New York City Mayoral Election in 2005, more than twice as
many voters turned out on General Election Day than on Primary
Election Day - which represented over 1.3 million voters on
Election Day and only 479,000 voters on Primary Day," the goo-goos
"Moreover, holding a special election on Primary Day may
confuse the electorate - independent voters living in AD 38 may
not even know that they can go to the polls."
are sympathetic to the argument that AD 38 has been unrepresented
since the resignation of Assemblyman Seminerio. It is our belief,
however, that it is best for the special election to be held on
the fall General Election date, when there will likely be a larger
turnout and less voter confusion."
all of the foregoing reasons, we urge you to call for a special
election for AD 38 on the General Election Day."
goo-goos' letter (which cites the DP in its footnotes - thanks!)
notes that a number of candidates have successfully petitioned
their way onto the 38th AD ballot.
the governor goes through with his plan to call a special
election, all their petition-gathering would be for naught, since
the four district leaders (including Seminerio himself) would get
to decide who runs on the Democratic line, making that person a
near-sure thing in the Democrat-dominated district.
those candidates, Al Baldeo, has said it would "abridge the
democratic process" if
Paterson calls a