Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Flacks Report [26th October, 2010]

Election Board Chief Fired
George Gonzalez, a career employee at the New York City Board of Elections, was fired to-day, Tuesday, 26th October, 2010. The commissioners went into executive session for "personnel matters" immediately at the start of their 1:30 P.M. regularly scheduled weekly meeting. Gonzalez, the $173,000 per year executive director of the City's Elections Board, was seen by some as the "fall guy" for the difficulties in this September's Primary election.

The reasons for his discharge are not entirely clear--it is a long story about repeated foul ups. Gonzalez, who had the technical knowledge but was not perceived as the person for the job, got his position earlier this year in a political deal with both the Bronx Democratic and Bronx Republican "regular" organizations' support. There is also a complaint against Gonzalez with the N.Y.C. Department of Investigations about how a Queens Special election (to be voted on at the same time as the up-coming General) ballot lay-out was set up. And there is the unanswered question ("We don't divulge information about personnel matters taken up in executive session" said Fred Umane [Rep.-Manh.], the most senior of the commissioners) why Gonzalez was fired the week before the November 2nd General election.

The vote to terminate Gonzalez's employment was: Nancy Mottola-Schacher [Rep.-Brooklyn], Michael Ryan [Dem.-S.I.], John Sipp [Rep.-S.I.], Gregory Soumas [Dem.-Manh.], Judith Stupp [Rep.-Queens], and Frederic Umane [Rep.-Manh.] voted in favor (six votes required to carry the motion). Abstaining were: Juan Carlos Polanco [Rep.-Bronx], Naomi Barrera [Dem.-Bronx], Julie Dent [Dem.-Brooklyn], and Jose Araujo [Dem.-Queens].

In addition, the police officers, who have the keys to open the scanners, will arrive at 5 A.M. on the day of election according to Police Commissioner Kelly. [The keys to open the scanners are all keyed alike!] For the Primary election, the N.Y.P.D. election day instruction booklet told the officers to report to the polling sites at 5:30 A.M., a fact your correspondent brought to the attention of the Commissioners of Elections last month, which resulted in a meeting of Board of Elections officials and high-ranking police brass.

The scanners and equipment are being trucked out starting today to the polling sites, so that polls ought to open on time. For the Sept. 14th Primary election the Board had only two days because the initial testing of scanners took longer than expected. And Staten Island voting machine technicians are assisting the Manhattan techs with getting the equipment ready (!).

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Flacks Report 22 October 2010

"Pete" Grannis Fired by Gov.---General Election Ballot Proposals---Polls to Open on Time?---Keith Wright Strikes Out This Year---Daily News Editorial on Elections Board
"Pete" Grannis Fired by Gov.
Alexander "Pete" Grannis, the N.Y. State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner and one of our best environmentalists and public servants, was fired yesterday by the Accidental Governor. Read all about it:

General Election Ballot Proposals


Term Limits

Under existing charter provisions, as amended by a local law enacted by the Council in, 2008, City Council members and other elected City officials may currently serve up to three consecutive four year terms. Previously, a law enacted by voter initiative in 1993 established a limit of two four year terms for elected officials. In order to allow the electorate to choose between a two-term and a three-term limit, the Commission determined to place a proposal on the ballot to reduce the current limit of three consecutive terms for elected City officials to two consecutive full terms. Additionally, the proposal would prohibit the City Council from altering the term limit of incumbent elected officials; and provide that the proposed changes to two terms would apply to officials first elected to office after November 5, 2013.

Reducing Signature Requirements for Petitions

Voter turnout in City elections is dramatically low with only 26% of registered New Yorkers having voted in the last mayoral election. While the Commission explored a number of provisions designed to increase voter turnout, most of these would require a change in state law or the State Constitution. Some measures within the City’s jurisdiction to enact can apply only to city elections. Since virtually all city elections occur at the same time and place as state elections, the differing voting requirements present the potential for massive voter confusion. The Commission has, however, proposed a measure permitted under state law to enable candidates for City elections to get onto the ballot with a reduced number of petition signatures. The proposal reduces from 7,500 to 3,750 the number of signatures necessary to gain access to a party primary for the Mayor, Comptroller, and Public Advocate; reduces from 4,000 to 2,000 the number of signatures necessary to gain access to a party primary for Borough Presidents; and reduces from 900 to 450 the number of signatures necessary for Council members to gain access to a party primary, or to 2,700 for access to the general election ballot for independent candidates.

Consolidating the Voter Assistance Commission (VAC) and the Campaign Finance Board (CFB) and Changing the terms of CFB Board Members

The Commission is proposing to consolidate the Voter Assistance Commission with the CFB (it is now a free standing entity); restructure its membership; rename it the “Voter Assistance Advisory Committee”; and redefine certain administrative functions and responsibilities of both entities. CFB has a well-established and managed operative framework through which VAC’s impact can be enhanced. VAC already works with CFB in producing the Voters Guide and the Video Voters Guide. CFB would appoint the voter assistance coordinator and be responsible for carrying out the voter assistance functions currently listed in the Charter with the advice and assistance of VAC. The proposal will also move the commencement date for CFB members from April 1 to January 1.

Require the Disclosure of Independent Campaign Contributions

In recent years, independent expenditures by individuals or entities not working in tandem with declared candidates have become an increasingly significant part of election- related spending in New York City. To provide the public with more information about these expenditures and enhance the extensive disclosure already required of persons or entities that expend or contribute monies in conjunction with identified candidates for city office, the Commission proposes to amend the City’s renowned Campaign Finance law to require disclosure of expenditures by persons or entities who are acting independently of candidates. (This proposal involves disclosure only and does not set new contribution and expenditure limits for candidates.) The Commission’s proposal will require any individual or entity making a contribution or expenditure of $1000 or more endorsing a candidate or referendum, independent of that candidate or the proponent of the referendum, to disclose the expenditure to the CFB; require any entity similarly making a contribution of $5,000 or more to disclose the sources of the funds: and require that literature or advertisements funded by individuals or entities making independent expenditures identify the name of the individual or entity making the expenditure.

Amendments to Chapter 68, Conflicts of Interest

The Commission proposes two reforms to the Charter to increase accountability among City employees, and to prevent corruption and abuse. The Commission proposes to increase penalties for violation of the City’s conflicts of interest law and to establish mandatory training for city employees. The first penalty proposal recommends that penalties for a single conflict of interest violation be raised from a maximum of $10,000 to a maximum of $25,000. The current fine schedule has not been updated or adjusted for inflation since 1988 and it will give the Conflicts of Interest Board (“COIB”) more flexibility to finely calibrate its penalties and thereby signal the relative importance of the proscriptions in the conflicts law. The second proposal authorizes disgorgement of gains obtained as a result of any conflict of interest violation. The Commission expects that these two provisions will have a deterrent effect on conflicts of interest violations. Finally, the Commission offers a proposal that mandates that all city employees be trained in the City’s Conflict of Interest provisions within 60 days of the commencement of city employment and periodically thereafter. While the COIB has been systematically training city employees, this proposal clarifies that all employees must be trained and requires agencies to develop plans for providing training. The training may be in person or online.

Consolidating Administrative Tribunals

Adjudication of administrative violations currently take place at more than a dozen separate tribunals operated under different procedures and with differently qualified administrative law judges. This proposal provides for administrative consolidation of tribunals to streamline operations and create procedural norms. Many adjudicatory hearings are now held in-house at the regulating agency, and have been open to the perception that they lack the appearance of impartiality and independence. This proposal arose out of a 2005 Charter proposal to set a code of conduct for administrative law judges mirroring the rules applicable to state court judges. The proposal would authorize the Mayor to transfer adjudicatory functions of various tribunals to a single tribunal or agency; authorize the Mayor to convene a committee to evaluate and make recommendations regarding consolidation; authorize the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings to handle the appointment of administrative law judges; and require a public hearing with notice before the mayor’s orders and directives go into effect. Finally, the Commission proposes the enhancement of the adjudicatory functions of the Department of Consumer Affairs by authorizing the Department to hold impartial hearings for violations of the laws the Department enforces. Currently violations of all Consumer Protection laws not related to licensed entities are adjudicated in State Court.

Reviewing Reporting Requirements and Advisory Bodies

The Commission is proposing a mechanism to review the more than 175 reports and advisory bodies established by the Charter to determine if such reports and advisory bodies are currently useful or redundant and ineffective. Many reports have become unnecessary and may be a waste of time and resources for agencies in a time of fiscal austerity. The proposal establishes a Commission on Reporting and Advisory Bodies chaired by the Mayor’s Director of Operations and additionally comprised of the City Council Speaker and two other Council members chosen by the Speaker, the Corporation Counsel, and the director of the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications. The proposal also requires the Commission on Reporting and Advisory Bodies to notify and consider input from the groups and organizations subject to or affected by these reports or advisory bodies before deciding to retain, waive in whole or in part, or dissolve a requirement or an advisory body, subject to review by the Council The new legislation would establish factors for the Commission on Reporting and Advisory Boards to consider when reviewing a reporting requirement or advisory body. The proposal also imposes a three-year waiting period before the Commission may review a new reporting requirement; and does not affect the power of the Council to repeal, limit, extend, or enhance a reporting requirement or advisory body.

Fair Share

The City’s Fair Share law was established with the goal of distributing the burdens and benefits of city facilities among local communities. In order to give more transparency to “fair share” decisions, the Commission proposes to amend Section 204(d) of the Charter to require that the map and explanatory text published by the Department of City Planning also include the locations of state and federal transportation and solid waste management facilities, as well as private transportation and waste management facilities which act as the city’s counterpart in providing a public service.

Polls to Open On Time?

On Election day, Tues., 2nd Nov., 2010, do allow extra time to vote because of the new system. Commentators don't see much hope for improvement over September's fiasco, and what with the increased numbers of voters from all parties and a gubernatorial election year, that extra time you allot yourself will be welcome. And do not let the election workers insert your ballot into the scanner. They are not to do so unless asked.

The polls should open on time at 6 a.m. because both the election day workers and the police are to report an hour earlier at 5 a.m. In the September Primary, the police, who bring the keys which open the scanners, arrived late at their previously customary time of 5:30 a.m.. because the N.Y.P.D. manual was not changed to reflect the earlier reporting time! This gross over-sight was brought to the attention of the Board of Elections Commissioners at their weekly full board meeting by your correspondent. Board personnel subsequently met with the Police Dept. to correct the matter.

Keith Wright Strikes Out This Year

County Leader Keith Wright struck out this year. He failed to get his candidates picked for judgeships for a County-wide and a district Civil Court seats or Supreme Court seats.

Daily News Editorial on Elections Board

Elections by dummies: Primary Day voting botch was even worse than we thought
Editorials: Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Turns out that the disgusted New York City poll worker featured recently in these columns was too kind in estimating the idiot factor at the Board of Elections.
This was the gentleman who told the board at a public meeting that 15% of his colleagues had skipped or failed a basic competency test - and that one sat through the training class with his tongue hanging out beneath glazed eyes.

Well, a study out yesterday from state Controller Tom DiNapoli includes a survey showing that fully 43% of the workers entrusted to operate the machinery of democracy got no training, never completed the training or flunked the open-book test. And they weren't the only dim bulbs.

DiNapoli also found that Board of Elections honchos set different passing scores in different boroughs - accepting as few as 15 of 25 correct answers in the Bronx, Manhattan and Queens, 16 in Brooklyn and 20 on Staten Island.

Test graders in Manhattan even botched the task by using an answer key with multiple errors.

With geniuses like this in charge, it's no wonder the rollout of newfangled voting machines on Sept. 14 was such a fiasco.

DiNapoli found hundreds of polling stations that opened late, some by as much as 2-1/2 hours; at least 700 cases of equipment failure, and dozens more incidents in which poll workers steered voters wrong and violated their privacy.

All this is the responsibility of the board's executive director, George Gonzalez, who has loudly protested that the election went just fine. Heaven help the voters in November.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Flacks Report [15 Oct. 10]

Moulton Named Supervising Judge---A Precis on This Year’s Manhattan Judicial Convention---A Short Humorous Piece on Judges Salaries and Outside Jobs---New Interim Civil Court Judges—Marian Schuman, R.I.P.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Moulton Named Supervising Judge

Civil Court Judge and Acting Supreme Court Justice Peter H. Moulton becomes the supervising judge of the N.Y. County Civil Court starting next month. He replaces Jeffrey Oing, who was nominated for State Supreme Court at last month’s judicial convention.

This Year’s Manhattan Judicial Convention

Here is a precis on this year’s Manhattan (N.Y. County) judicial nominating convention. (An amplified article will be published in The Flacks Report later this year.)

Alan Flacks Reports to the Three Parks Independent Democrats:

First Judicial District Convention Results for 2010

Cynthia Kern, Jeffrey Oing, and Matthew Cooper were designated at the Sept. 21, 2010, Democratic First Judicial District (Manhattan) nominating convention to fill three vacancies on the State Supreme Court trial bench. They were among the twelve lower court N.Y.C. Civil Court judges who were considered by the delegates.

As chair of this year’s delegation from the 69th Assembly District, I am sad to report that there was no actual vote (as opposed to prior conventions) because the convention was orchestrated “Soviet style.” By the night of the convention--after a week or more of “horse trading”--the three leading candidates were Kern, Oing, and Cooper who had a majority of the delegates pledged to them. What followed was a “dog-and-pony” show: all twelve panel-screened candidates were nominated; each had a nominating and seconding speech; then each spoke briefly, and nine withdrew in favor of Kern, Oing, and Cooper. Those nine were: Saliann Scarpulla, Ellen Gesmer, Debra James, Analisa Torres, Anil Singh, Deborah Kaplan, Arthur Engoron, George Silver, and Manuel Jacobo Mendez Olivero.

Three candidates (Kern, Scarpulla, and Gesmer) were found “most highly qualified” by two prior screening panels and placed their names before the convention this year. The nine “most highly qualified” of the nineteen applicants this year, in order of the panel vote, were James, Torres, Oing, Singh, Kaplan, Cooper, Engoron, Silver, and Mendez.

The real-politic was that County Leader Keith Wright was not a “player” this year as his candidates failed to win, place, or show. Oing was backed by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Cooper was pushed by Jerrold Nadler. And Kern had the support of Tom Duane.

A Short Humorous Piece on Judges Salaries and Outside Jobs. By Emily Jane Goodman

Just when we hapless judges who haven't had a pay raise or cost of living increase for a dozen years, were giving up hope, we've been granted some relief. New York's chief judge has lifted the almost total ban on members of the judiciary earning outside income.

We've had some limited rights -- an honorarium for a lecture at a public institution, let's say, or performing a wedding ceremony for a maximum of $100 -- but there has been zero tolerance for toiling for pay in the private sector, albeit on our own time. Even Judge Judy had to leave the bench to become "Judge Judy."

Even if our salaries (which range from $119,000 to $136,700 -- and yes, our $5,000 expense stipend was doubled this year) are higher than those of most Americans, they're far lower than first-year lawyers who haven't yet been admitted to the Bar. And it really smarts to be ranked 50th in the nation for judicial compensation. Lifting the ban is a real game changer even if we still cannot practice law -- which is pretty much all we know how to do.

Still, I'm not tempted to copy the judge who back in the '70s protested the stagnant compensation of that era by selling hot dogs at the old Yankee Stadium. I don't do outdoor work.

As I started my search, I discovered that all the good jobs are listed online. I'm hardly computer savvy and job applicants must be fluent in HTML, Unicode and Photoshop.

Yet, how can I explain on computer forms or to interviewers what I've been doing for the last 25-plus years? I can't say I've been home raising children all that time. Or that I've been in jail. Or even rehab. So how about bartending?

Admittedly I have no experience, but I'm pretty sure that if I could memorize the Uniform Commercial Code, I could master the secrets of a dirty martini. Waiting to meet a friend, I did inquire at one Greenwich Village spot, but was told I'm too short. Too short? I wondered if that violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. Probably not because it seems that when they talk about "top shelf" liquor, they really mean top shelf -- which I couldn't reach.

A couple of the few remaining small stores in my Manhattan neighborhood have signs in English and Spanish seeking salespeople with retail experience. I do have a great deal of retail experience, but it's all been on the purchasing end.

Further down Broadway, the marquee at the multiplex announces, "We are always hiring... ." But the computer application had little boxes asking date of birth beginning with 1985. That meant if I was actually hired to sell or collect tickets, or dish out tubs of popcorn, I'd be taking the job from an unemployed teenager or student. So I did not press "Send."

Next I thought of Filene's Basement. I could walk to work on Saturdays and Sundays, without interfering with my day job, and save my minimum hourly wage. But one of my colleagues chastised me, saying that would be very demeaning to her. Well, then, how about the perfume counter at Saks? More upscale, but they're not hiring until the holiday season.

Still looking, I called a friend who, while serving as a judge for about 20 years, has kept active the taxi driver's license he used while in law school 40 years ago. Judges driving cabs has been a prohibited activity, but all that's changed now. Unfortunately for me, though, that license is one piece of paper I never got.

A job at Barnes & Noble would satisfy my craving for books, but could it put me into the middle of a proxy fight? Teaching would seem a natural option and I did apply to teach an undergraduate college course. I wasn't even considered, since the other piece of paper I do not have is a Ph.D.

I won't be selling hot dogs. But I can now sell my fascinating life story to a television network; I can safely deposit any advance for my book on marriage and divorce; maybe even appear in commercials as a judge of whatever's being advertised. Or if JLo backs out, perhaps I can be a judge on American Idol. After all, it's only one night a week and it pays well. The rest of the time I'll be working for the public, dispensing justice at the county courthouse.
Emily Jane Goodman is a state Supreme Court justice in New York County. She frequently writes about the law. This originally appeared in the Albany, N.Y., on 1st Oct., 2010.

New Interim Civil Court Judges

Mayor Mike appointed four interim Civil Court judges in Manhattan to serve until year’s end: Fernando Silva, Joanne Quinones (who used to clerk for Matt Cooper), Charles Troia, and John Zoll. The hearing by the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on the Judiciary took but 20 minutes. The wonder is why Hiz Honor would appoint people now to serve for just a few months.

Marian Schuman R.I.P.

Marian Schuman Was Always There for C.F.D.
By Joan Paylo

Marian Schuman, a founding member of Community Free Democrats and a loyal member for more than 40 years, passed away on Saturday after a long and valiant battle with cancer. A memorial service was held on September 26th, 2010.

A CFD Board Member, Marian was one of the recipients of the first Ivan Merber Outstanding Member Award at CFD's gala 30th Anniversary Dinner in 2000.

Although she began her career as a creative textile designer, Marian found a second calling at the Board of Elections, where her penchant for detail made her an invaluable employee. She brought the same perseverance, curiosity and energy to our club in so many ways. She particularly took responsibility for running club endorsement and elections procedures. Year after year, she ran for and won the position of Judicial Delegate, which she took seriously.

Marian believed in supporting her beliefs with action and was a strong addition to any peace or human rights march that CFD participated in. Of course she was a relentless petitioner, rabidly supporting candidates she believed in. In the past few years, she helped out in Assemblymember Rosenthal's office, answering phones and facilitating constituent services.

Marian stood up for what she believed in and wasn't afraid to speak out for issues and people. Although she could be relentless, she also had a great sense of irony and humor about herself. She loved to laugh.

In her last years and after her first bout with a pre-cancerous condition, Marian decided she would allow herself to enjoy life a bit more. During one petitioning period a few years ago, Marian called me to say that she wouldn't be getting many signatures that year. In fact, she said, she was calling from the stool in front of a slot machine in Vegas, and she laughed so hard then that she almost fell off her seat! This is the perfect example of Marian's loyalty to CFD and to the Democratic Party. She called her District Leader from Vegas, because the need for petition signatures, and their importance, was gnawing at her.

Just as Marian's perspective and outspoken opinions could be a breath of fresh air in a debate, she also loved the fresh air and was athletic. She rode her bike until recently and was an avid tennis player. For that reason, she was a vocal defender of the Central Park Tennis Courts and other park and environmental issues. She loved to rest in the sweetness of the West Side Community Garden to take a break from petitioning on a hot day. In her last years, she was determined to see as many friends and experience as much travel and indoor and outdoor music performances as she could.

One of Marian's best stories was of her three-week trip to Cuba about 10 years ago. She came down with an awful head cold while there, but never stopped singing the praises of the very professional free clinic and the woman doctor who treated and "cured" her, making it possible for her to enjoy her vacation.

Marian was single and had no children. Cousins, who include at least one medical doctor, have assisted her during her illness.

I, for one, will miss Marian's gruff feistiness and her bottomless commitment to fight for what she loved and believed in. Greatness, I suppose, runs on a scale. In the relatively small CFD universe, at least, Marian was a truly great, and irreplaceable, woman.

Now is the winter of our fiscal discontent
made glorious summer by this son of Mario.
Tele.: (212) 840+12.34

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Michael L. Katz Chosen for Manhattan Civil Court Vacancy

Extra! 7 October 2010
Michael Lee Katz was chosen to-night as the Democratic candidate for a N.Y.C. Manhattan Civil Court vacancy. Katz was selected unanimously as the two other leading candidates, Erica McDaniel Edwards and Paul Allan Goetz, withdrew because Katz had garnered the support of the majority of Party district leaders.

The selection of Katz took place at a very short meeting of the New York County Democratic Party's executive committee (comprised of the district leaders) held at County Headquarters in Manhattan. The vacancy for a County-wide Civil Court seat materialized for the November General election when incumbent Civil Court Judge Matthew Cooper was designated at the Party's Sept. 21st judicial convention for a seat on the State Supreme Court.

Katz is a law clerk to a State Supreme Court Justice. Edwards is a lawyer in a Harlem law firm and was the candidate of County Leader Assemblyman Keith Wright. Goetz, a N.Y.C. Asst. Corporation Counsel, had support in the gay community.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

October Pumpkins

Selected Events
[Events which request contributions are indicated by $.]
* * * * * * * * * *
7th October, 2010, this Thursday, at 6 o'clock P.M. The New York County Regular Democratic Committee executive committee (the district leaders [sic]) meet in plenary session to choose a candidate to appear on the November General election ballot for the County-wide Civil Court seat from which Matthew Cooper declined because of his nomination to the State Supreme Court trial bench at the First Judicial District's convention on the 21st inst. This meeting is open to the public. 461 Park Ave. S. @ E. 30th Str., Manh.

12th October, 2010, Tues., 6:30 - 8 P.M. City Hall newspaper's rising political stars under 40. Woolworth Tower Kitchen, Woolworth Bldg. (Barclay @ B'way). Open Bar.

14th October, 2010, Thursday, 5:30 P.M. until 7:30 P.M. Fund-raiser for Tom Duane. Leslie/Lohman Art, 26 Wooster Str. (betw. Grand & Canal Sts.). [Subways to Canal Str.] Info., ring: (646) 265+70.82. $

18th October, 2010, Monday, 6 to 8 P.M. Fund-raiser for Micah Kellner. Chez Ellenson, 360 E. 88th Str. - Apt. 21-A, Manh. (917) 250+17.48. $

22nd October, 2010, Friday at 8 A.M. City Law breakfast forum. The 2010 N.Y.C. Charter Revision Commission Recommendations. Speaker: Matthew Goldstein, Chair, Charter Revision Commission. N.Y. Law School, 185 West B'way (betw. Worth & Leonard Sts.) - 2nd Fl.

23rd October, 2010, Saturday at 7 P.M. Palm Beach County Dem. Party annual dinner. Palm Beach convention center. Info.: Mark Alan Siegel, (561) 212-80.35. $

25th October, 2010, Monday, from 5:30 to 7:30 P.M. Downtown Independent Democrats Fall fund-raiser at La Mela, 167 Mulberry Str. (betw. Broome & Grand), Little Italy. Info.: (212) SPring 7 - 15.98. $

Hold the dates:

18th November, 2010, Thursday at 6 P.M. N.Y. County Regular Democratic organization cocktail party. Ritz Carlton (Battery Park), Two West Str. Repondez s'il vous plait (646) 214 + 33.97. $

5th December, 2010, afternoon. Three Parks Ind. Dems., Inc., holiday party. All welcome.

16th December, 2010, Thursday.

This information is supplied as a public service, and is not an endorsement of the identified activity, candidate, charity, club, meeting, organization, or topic. All information is believed to be accurate as of the original publication date of this posting. E. & o.e.

Now is the winter of our fiscal discontent
made glorious summer by this son of Mario.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Reminder: NY County Exec. Cttee. to Choose Civil Court Judge

County Exec. Committee to Meet to Pick Judge

This meeting is open to the public. You are urged to contact your district leaders as to whom you support as they represent you.

The New York County Regular Democratic Party's executive committee (comprised of all the district leaders) shall meet this 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.