Thursday, September 27, 2012
By Alan Flacks (212) 840+1234 The 2012 Democratic Party’s judicial nominating convention for the First Judicial District (New York County), held on Monday, 24th September, brought few surprises although it wasn’t certain who would be the victorious candidates even on the morning of the convention. Horse trading and palavering went on for a week or so before that evening, when candidates and their handlers estimated their relative strengths and pledged delegate numbers. The eventual winners for the four 1st District vacancies on the State trial bench were, in the order nominated, Saliann Scarpulla, Shlomo Hagler, George Silver, and Manny Mendez, all Civil Court Judges and “acting” Supremes. Anil Singh, considered by many to be the brightest and best of the candidates, and Debra James were the other two of the viable six contenders. The convention itself, orchestrated Soviet-style, was a dog-and-pony show. All the fifteen candidates—ten from this year’s secret screening panel and five “2/4” candidates (previously selected by two prior panels in the last four consecutive years)—were nominated with lovely speeches, seconded, and then the “losing” candidates spoke and withdrew essentially acknowledging “It’s not my year” or a Dodger “wait till next year.” All candidates were obsequious to the county leader. Many delegates were certainly not Reformers because they wore multiple hats by also holding public office or Party position, and a good number of alternate delegates failed to show. Once again, county leader Keith Wright was not a player. He supported Many Mendez for the Washington Heights/Inwood Dominicans and other Latinos, and backed Shlomo Hagler at the behest of his “boss,” Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (for which it is rumored that Silver will make Wright the chair of the important Assembly Housing Committee), while abandoning the only Black Harlem candidate, Debra James. Silver and Espaillat/Linares got theirs while Keith backed down. Afterward there was a reception, a recent tradition, at a local restaurant to which all were invited to attend, and which was given by the four winning candidates. The seventeen applicants to the screening panel we hear say are (those ten reported marked with a double asterisk): Nancy Marie Bannon,**-- Debra James,**-- James d’Auguste,-- Arlene Bluth,**-- Margaret Chan,-- Shlomo Hagler,**-- Lori Satler,**-- Tanya Kennedy,-- Andrea Masley,**-- Peter Moulton,**-- Kathryn Freed,**-- Frank Nervo,-- Ruth Pickholz,**-- Barbara Jaffe,**-- Victoria Kummer,-- Raymond Bruce,-- Lynn Kotler,-- These ten reported this year were joined as candidates by five who were reported previously twice in the past four consecutive years: Anil Singh,-- George Silver,-- Saliann Scarpulla,-- Manuel Mendez,-- Arthur Engoron.