The Flacks Report "July" 2010 - Up-dated for Sept. 2010
County Leader: Controlling the Panel?
It appears that the Keith Wright, the new County Leader, is deviating from his predecessor Denny Farrell, in attempting to control the Party’s Supreme Court Screening Panel. Without authority, Wright appointed the panel’s administrator, and has once again put the Jewish Lawyers Guild--neither a legal nor community group, but a religious fraternal organization--on the panel. Both moves were made over the objections of his own judiciary committee. More later as the story develops.
Most Find Dems too Liberal
A near-record majority of Americans believe the Democratic Party is "too liberal." That's according to a new Gallup Poll (14 June 10) that finds 49 percent of Americans believe Democrats have moved too far left. That number is up 10 points since 2008 and just 1 point shy of the all-time record set in 1994 when Democrats lost control of Congress. According to the poll, 38 percent now believe the Dems' views are "about right"—a 12 point decrease since 2008.
By comparison, 40 percent of those surveyed believe Republicans are "too conservative"—down 3 points since '08—and 41 percent believe the party's views are "about right." That number marks a 7 percent increase in the last two years.
Why the sudden reversal of fortunes? Democrats are losing the support of so-called independent and swing voters. According to Gallup, 52 percent of independent voters say Democrats are "too liberal," compared to 40 percent two years ago. It's unclear how the same voting bloc feels about Republicans. While the poll cites no specific data on this question, it reports that independents' views on the GOP has been largely consistent over the past two years.
—By Holly Bailey, senior political writer for Yahoo! News
County Exec. Committee to Meet to Pick Judge
The New York County Regular Democratic Party's executive committee (comprised of all the district leaders) shall meet next Thursday evening, 7th October, 2010, at 6 P.M. at the County office (461 Park Ave. S. at E. 30th Str.) to select a replacement on the November General election ballot for Civil Court Judge (a N.Y. County-wide seat). This vacancy materialized when incumbent Civil Court Judge Matthew Cooper declined the nomination because he was designated at the Party's Sept. 21st judicial convention for a seat on the State Supreme Court.
The leading contenders for the seat are: Michael Lee Katz, law clerk to B. Ruth Kapnick, J.S.C.; Erika McDaniel Edwards, an attorney in the law firm reputed to do legal work for County Leader Wright; and Paul Allan Goetz, a lawyer who works for Michael Cardozo.
Katz, "always a bridesmaid, but never a bride," is the fave of the Lex. club and Eastsiders. Edwards, who is the choice of the County Leader (and was his choice earlier for Civil Court), "resides" in the same office suite as Keith Wright's chief-of-staff and co-law chair and also his Supreme Court panel administrator. Goetz, who is an assistant corporation counsel for commercial and real estate litigation, has support in the gay community. All were reported as qualified earlier this year by the Party's Civil Court screening panel.
The meeting is open to the public. You are urged to contact your district leaders as to whom you support.
Another Petition Printer
Attorney Sarah Steiner has started a petition preparing and printing business in addition to her election law practice. She is at 401 East 74th Street, N.Y.C. 10021, and her telephone number is (917) 776+51.75.
Betsey and Peter
Betsey Ball and Peter Cutler were married on 3rd July, 2010, in Buffalo, New York, the bride's home town. The bridegroom works for the Buffalo City Mayor. Betsey always wanted to marry on the Fourth of July, which this year fell on a Sunday. Because the priest had masses to conduct, he requested that the couple hold the wedding ceremony the day before. The reception was at the Buffalo Country Club. The theme? Independence Day, of course: Red, White, and Blue bunting, flags, pinwheels, fireworks, favors. Red velvet cake with white icing and blue decoration. But best of all were the cards to indicate one's table at the reception. The tables were not numbered or lettered, but each had the name of a signer of the Declaration of Independence! Nice touch. Mazel Tov Betsey and Peter!
Skurnik Reports on Some Board of Elections Petition Challanges
At the risk of receiving comments that I’m once again subtly defending the indefensible, I’m presenting a report on the first 3 days of hearings on petition challenges at the New York City Board of Elections.
There were a few cases still to be heard, and some cases will be heard in court, so this report is not the final word.
Once again, it seemed to me, that there were many less challenges involving “technicalities” than in most years. Most candidates who were removed from the ballot did not appear to defend their petitions, which seems to me to mean they simply did not file enough signatures from registered voters – for example a State Senate candidate in Brooklyn’s petitions contained a total of 89 signatures when 1,000 were required.
Among of the more significant decisions made by the Board was the removal from the ballot of two incumbent Democratic District Leaders. This is the first time that I remember something like this happening.
One of the two was former Councilman Kendall Stewart from Brooklyn, who did not defend his petition. I assume the earlier report on Room 8 about Councilman Stewart’s health was a major factor in this.
The other was Martha Flores-Vasquez from Flushing, who was removed because her petition left out the word Female and only listed the position sought as Democrat District Leader when separate votes are cast for Male & Female. I leave it for others to debate whether this is a “technicality” or not.
Two other Queens candidates for Democratic District Leader were removed because they do not live in the districts in which they were running. They argued that District Leaders only have to live in their districts on Primary Day but the Board disagreed.
A few candidates were removed because their petitions contained candidates for different Assembly Districts in the same petition. This was considered a violation until a few years ago when the Appellate Court allowed it. Last year, the law was changed to once ago disallow this. I suspect that the candidates did not know the law had changed. I know that I didn’t know.
Two other cases of candidates being removed seem to have some possible significance to this year’s elections. In one case, Francisco Tirado, a Community Board District Manager, who was one of 3 candidates opposing State Senator Pedro Espada in the Democratic Primary was removed for lack of signatures and did not appear to defend.
In the other, John Tabacco, a former City Council candidate and registered member of the Independence Party, who is attempting to challenge Congressman Mike McMahon for the IP line. Mr. Tabacco did appear to defend his petitions and there were a number of technical issues raised. He is now in court trying to get back on the ballot.
New N.Y.C. Board of Elections Deputy Executive Director
For background on the new N.Y.C. Deputy Executive Director, see:
It has been reported that the N.Y.C. Department of Investigation, the Mayor, and the Corp. Counsel are furious about Dawn Sandow’s promotion after D.O.I. apparently documented her false registration. Why haven't "Reform" district leaders in Manhattan been speaking out about Manhattan Dem. Commissioner Greg Soumas approving this deal brokered by Stanley Schlein?
Joseph Force Crater?
Now is the winter of our fiscal discontent
made glorious summer by this son of Mario.
From ALAN FLACKS at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tele.: (212) 840+12.34