“Three more would-be Women’s Equality Party candidates are being kept off the party’s line on the November ballot under a ruling issued by a state Supreme Court justice in Albany on Wednesday.
Justice Richard Platkin, who kept two candidates off the party’s ballot line in a pair of decisions issued Tuesday, ruled Wednesday that a trio of candidates for state Supreme Court justice cannot hold the line. As in his Tuesday rulings, Platkin tossed the candidates’ nominations on a technicality: That party officials did not submit a proper affidavit necessary to accompany the candidates’ nominating paperwork.”
Additional updates to today’s story can be accessed here.
In yet another courtroom fight over the WEP, an Albany candidate was also knocked off the ballot yesterday. Matthew Hamiltin reports about it here. The Albany County decision can be accessed below.
From the Albany opinion, “if one of the competing groups has secured the support of at least one of the statewide candidates while other contenders have none, then it has the ability to nominate candidates for office — even if the larger question of party control remains unresolved.”
Politico NY’s Bill Mahoney provides an update on the most recent court battles over the Women’s Equality Party. According to Mahoney, “these decisions seemingly portend bad news for candidates hoping to receive the WEP’s line in 2015. Numerous suits have sprung up in recent months arguing that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s rules for the party he founded were invalid because they had the support of only two of the four statewide candidates who received its line last year rather than the “majority” required by election law. Both former state senator Cecilia Tkaczyk and a group of Republican county legislative clerks argued that they had just as much authority to endorse candidates.
In decisions affecting races in Albany, Warren County, and the Southern Tier, judges ruled Tuesday against candidates hoping to receive the WEP’s line this year. Acting Supreme Court Justice Richard Platkin specifically enjoined the board from “printing and placing the name of Barbara Fiala” on the ballot under the WEP line this year. Fiala, who is campaigning for a vacant Binghamton-area Senate seat, was briefly the WEP’s chair under Cuomo’s rules.”
As first reported here last Friday, NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was joined by 20 other state Attorneys General in an amicus brief in the Evenwel v. Abbott redistricting litigation pending before the US Supreme Court.
Today, Colby Hamilton (in a firewalled NY Politico article) and Nick Reisman (in NY State of Politics) cover the amicus brief filing.
If the petitioners are successful, Evenwel would have a dramatic impact on New York State, shifting State Assembly and Senate districts from downstate to upstate and shifting districts in communities with more children and minorities around within jurisdictions.
Nick Reisman reports in NY State of Politics that “Democratic Senate candidate Barbara Fiala was kicked off the Women’s Equality Party ballot line on Tuesday, dealing a blow to her effort to flip the Southern Tier-based district long held by Republicans.
State Supreme Court Judge Richard Platkin ruled on Tuesday that Fiala, a former chairwoman of the party, stems from a technicality in the filing certification for the nomination.”
A copy of the court decision is linked in the article and available here:
Peter Ryan, a student at Columbia University, has a column in the Buffalo News discussing the difficulty of how New York’s election laws “successfully stifle voter turnout for…. atypical presidential candidats” and urges the “state Board of Elections (to) act immediately to contact the nearly 3 million voters that this (registration) deadline impacts, and to change the content of its website to clearly reflect all pertinent deadlines. The State Legislature should then act to substantially alter these outrageous deadlines for future elections. Voting is, after all, a right and responsibility of U.S. citizens, and a hallmark of democracy itself.”
He also adds “according to public records, there are over 2.75 million non-Republican, non-Democratic voters in New York State. The majority of these are non-affiliated voters (2.2 million) and Independents (430,000). It is completely reasonable to think that of these non-affiliated voters, some will be wooed and won over by Trump’s promise to “make America great again.” It’s also completely reasonable to think that some of the 430,000 Independents will want to vote for Sanders, the Independent senator from Vermont who is running on the Democratic ticket. As a matter of fact, in such an unconventional election, it’s likely that even some Republicans and Democrats will want to switch parties.
Here’s the good news: These voters still have time – the deadline is not until Oct. 9. Here’s the bad news: Of those nearly 3 million voters, few will have the opportunity to switch their enrollments to their new party of preference by the deadline.”
20 states joined an amicus brief authored by the New York Attorney General’s Office in the Evenwel v. Abbott redistricting case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. The case challenges the use of total population for redistricting. The New York City Corporation Counsel also filed a separate brief on its own. We will have more commentary on these briefs later.
In the Times Union, Rick Karlin continue to report on the court room battles over the future and control of the Women’s Equality Party. In the latest posting, the fight “has spread like a virus and is being waged in more than a dozen trial courts, from Albany to Long Island to the Hudson Valley, and to the Southern Tier and western New York.
While the battle began when former state Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk moved to take control of the party from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who created it in 2014, the most recent skirmishes involve challenges by the Republicans who say the party hasn’t been created properly, since only two, rather than the needed three, statewide candidates in the last state election, have agreed to the party’s rules.
So far Cuomo and Lt. Gov Kathy Hochul, who ran on the line last year, are backing the WEP as envisioned by the governor. But Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli haven’t gotten involved.
Nick Reisman reports this morning that “the two Democrats who sit on the state Board of Elections have filed a friend-of-the-court brief in a lawsuit the seeks to end the practice of allowing limited liability companies to donate unlimited funds to political campaigns.
In the brief — which just happens to be filed in a suit against the Board of Elections itself over the so-called “LLC loophole” in the state’s election law — Commissioners Douglas Kellner and Andrew Spano ask the court go further: Ban LLC contributions entirely.” Read more here
In the Times Union, Rick Karlin reported yesterday that “an appellate court in Rochester earlier Thursday said ‘no’ to an earlier lower court ruling that used an injunction to basically place the fight over the Women’s Equality Party ballot line in limbo.
Now, the case is likely headed to the Court of Appeals although the most recent decision leaves open the possibility for battles in each county over who gets the WEP line — a faction headed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo or by former Democratic Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk who moved to take control of the party a few months ago, contending it should be run by a woman.”