Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Flacks Report [31 March 2009]

Elections Board Takes an Ethical Step Backwards---Dave Smith---Abdus-Salaam to the App. Div.

Elections Board Takes an Ethical Step Backwards

New York City's Board of Elections took an step backwards on St. Patrick's Day when at its regularly scheduled commissioners meeting, the Commissioners by a 6 to 2 vote (with 1 absention and 1 absent) rescinded their ruling from last year barring official Board of Elections training sessions from being held in political clubs. This, in a day of campaign finance reform and of greater accountability in government, was a distinct ethical step backward.

For many years, official poll worker training sessions were held in political clubhouses [but not of late in Manhattan] as well as many other locations, but in July of last year, the Commissioners voted to discontinue this practice; however, under what is understood to be heavy political pressure from the "outer borough" party organizations (and even some elected public officials there), the Board reversed itself!

City money is also involved here. Training sites receive tax monies from the Board of $75 per class (there can be multiple classes in a day or days at any site). And there is always the possibility that the clubs' district leaders might inject themselves in the training sessions (which in some cases might be a good thing because Board of Elections trainers are not of uniform quality).

Dave Smith

Dave Smith, a co-op housing advocate in Penn South, died at age 90. Link to:

to read Al Amateau's excellent obituary on Smith, who was married to the Democratic party stalwart Esther Smith.
Abdus-Salaam to the Appellate Division

And filling the last Associate Justice vacancy on the Appellate Division, First Department's bench, is Manhattan Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam. [Lippman to the C. of A.; Gonzalez to P.J. of the 1st Dept.; Ros Richter to A.D. 1st, replacing the retired Williams; and Abdus-Salaam to replace Gonzalez.]


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