Jordan Carleo-Evangelist explores the charter revision questions to be presented to county voters next Tuesday. The article takes a look at whether “the Albany County Legislature get sole power to determine its own size in the future, and who should draw those districts?
Those are the two most hotly contested changes to the county charter that voters will be asked to approve on Election Day — the first proposed comprehensive update in more than two decades.
The proposal stems from more than two years of work by a citizen Charter Review Commission and county lawmakers to review the distribution of power in county government.”
More here on the county-by-county court battle over the Women’s Equality Party.
In New York State of Politics, Nick Reisman reports “Onondaga County Republicans on Monday scored a win in court, knocking some 20 candidates from the ballot line.
In this case, the Appellate Division of the state Supreme Court determined the candidates had not filed a proper affidavit that contains a statement of the top officer and secretary of the committee affirming the nominating certificates.”
Laura Figueroa reports on another twist in the Women’s Equality Party effort to field candidates in the November election. In a late breaking Newsday post, she writes that attorneys for the party “said on Monday they plan on appealing a state Supreme Court judge’s decision to block the minor party from appearing on Nassau’s general election ballot.
Nassau Conservative Party chairman Daniel Donovan and other Nassau GOP activists had filed a lawsuit seeking to bar the Nassau Board of Elections from listing candidates under the Women’s Equality Party, a statewide party formed by Democratic Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo during his reelection bid last year.”
They’re back again!
New York voters are in line for three primaries next year. Nick Reisman reports on the state Board Of Elections new calendar for local and federal primary dates: congressional primaries onJune 28, with primaries for local and state elected offices will be held on Sept. 13.
Our presidential primary will be held on April 19.
Nick Reisman reports in NY State of Politics: “Democrats in Rockland County late last week scored a victory for candidates running on the Women’s Equality Party line after the Republican elections commissioner sought to toss them from the ballot.
The challenge to the WEP status in Rockland County came after Republican Election Commissioner Butch Babcock, along with County GOP Chairman Lawrence Garvey filed a lawsuit to knock the candidates in next month’s elections off the ballot.”
Matthew Hamilton reports in the Times Union “Wednesday brought a victory for the Cuomo administration on the overarching issue of who controls the Gov. Andrew Cuomo-created Women’s Equality Party.
But an appellate court ruling did uphold a lower court’s decision to toss WEP candidates off the ballot on a technicality.
The long-story short for the nightmarishly confusing case is this: The Cuomo-backed group is the only one of three that has standing as the party’s controlling entity, according to the ruling. That makes clear who actually is in charge for the first time since two groups challenged for control of the party earlier this year.”
A copy of today’s decision is linked in the article.
The Appellate Division 3rd Department affirmed a lower court ruling today keeping Larry Cleveland, Claudia K. Braymer, Jennifer S. Switzer and Richard F. Garrand Jr. off the ballt as candidagtes of the Women’s Equality Party in Warren County.
The Court held “1]. A certificate of nomination issued by a new party is required to contain certain specified information, including “[a]n affidavit containing a statement by the presiding officer and secretary of the committee that they are such officers and the statements in the certificate are true” (Election Law § 6-128  [g]). Here, review of the certified copies of the documents filed with the Warren County Board of Elections confirms that no affidavit was included with the certificate of nomination. Failure to include the affidavit in accordance with the statutorily prescribed content is fatal to the certificate of nomination (see Election Law § 6-128 , ; see also Matter of Alamo v Black, 51 NY2d 716, 717 ). To the extent that the WEP, Gold and Joy assert in their opposition papers that the language in the certificate of nomination — which includes statements that Gold and Joy, as chair and secretary, respectively, of the WEP executed the document before a notary and that the document, with the WEP rules attached thereto, was accurate and complete — is “substantially equivalent” to the language required by Election Law § 6-128 (1) (g), we note that “there must be strict compliance with statutory commands as to matters of prescribed content” (Matter of Hutson v Bass, 54 NY2d 772, 774 ; see Matter of Griffin v Torres, 131 AD3d 631, 632 ).
The full decision can be read here: http://www.courts.state.ny.us/reporter/3dseries/2015/2015_07526.htm
The Times Union wants to make it easier to run for office in New York State. In an editorial running in today’s edition, the paper argues that “the rules – which should do nothing more and nothing less than ensure fair elections – have become so complex that otherwise legitimate candidates are shut out of the democratic process. The state Legislature needs to devise a more honest and simple system in which citizens don’t have to be election law scholars – or have friends in high places – just to run for office.”
Democratic State Board of Elections Commissioner Doug Kellner “questioned $10,000 in annual payments the board made for most of a decade without getting any work in return.”
As reported by Chris Bragg in the Times Union, “Douglas Kellner, a Democratic appointee to the four-member panel, questioned the board’s financial relationship since 2007 with a nonprofit called the New York State Dispute Resolution Association, whose hiring stemmed from the 2002 federal Help America Vote Act. The law was passed in the wake of the controversial 2000 presidential election.”
Chris Bragg reports in the Times Union “Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and the New York City Campaign Finance Board announced $25,800 in total penalties on Thursday morning stemming from a joint investigation into the activities of the consulting firm the Advance Group during the 2013 New York City elections.
Under New York City campaign finance rules, candidates who enrolled in the city’s taxpayer matching funds program during the 2013 elections were subject to a hard spending cap. But the joint investigation found that the firm, led by founder Scott Levenson, had been the main consultant both for city candidates, and for deep-pocketed outside groups spending on behalf of those same candidates.”