Monthly Archives: February 2016

NYC Pols Want To Shame Eligible Voters With ‘Voter History’ Card

Jennifer Fermino reports in the Daily News that NYC Council Member Ritchie Torres  wants the NYC Board of Elections to be required to “send all eligible voters in the five boroughs a “voter history” card that will tell people how many elections they’ve missed in the past four years under a new bill being considered in the City Council.”

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Michael Benjamin: Disappointing Bronx Special Election Turnout

Former State Assembly Member Michael Benjamin considers the low voter turnout in this past Tuesday’s special election in the New York City Council 17th district. From the article:

“Many local voters take pride in voting in presidential elections, then gripe when they don’t get a responsive local government. The City Council is where the rubber meets the road. Council District 17 voters know far more about Hillary, Bernie and Trump than they know about the person just elected to ensure that their garbage is picked up, police patrol their streets, firefighters put out fires, EMS save lives and that new construction includes affordable housing for low-income individuals. Voters should want to know and elect an effective council member.”

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Breaking News: Ted Cruz NY Challenge Moving Forward

Last week, we published reports that  the New York State Board of Elections was served with the first lawsuit challenging the qualifications of Ted Cruz to appear on the presidential primary ballot. The  justice who signed the order to show cause changed the venue from New York County to Albany County. Now, Albany State Supreme Court Justice David Weinstein will hear the challenge.

Reports indicate that the new judge has directed the State Board to answer the petition by 5:00 tomorrow. The Korman and Gallo petitioners   must  reply by Monday morning with oral argument next  Tuesday morning.

The State Board has until tomorrow morning to indicate whether it objects to joining Ted Cruz as a respondent.

More details to follow as they become available.

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Board of Elections Proposes Independent Expenditure Rules

Chris Bragg reports in the Times Union on the State Board Of Elections effort to regulate independent expenditure committees.

“Douglas Kellner, the Democratic co-chair of the Board of Elections, said in an email that he was “not aware of any particular issue of disagreement, but everyone is being careful to reconcile the differences between various models we are looking at, including the federal and New York City regulations, as well as regulations adopted in other states.”

The regulations include proposed rules for labor unions and other membership organizations, which are exempt from some aspects of disclosure of spending targeted to their own memberships.”

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BOE Commissioner: Enforcement Counsel Has 170 Cases

Nick Reisman reports on State Board Of Elections Commissioner Andy Spano’s intrrview with Bill Samuels on yesterday’s Effective NY redio show. From the interview:

“About 170 cases are under review by the independent enforcement counsel at the state Board of Elections.”

“Spano, a former Westchester county executive, was appointed as a Democratic In the interview, Spano defended the Board of Elections after commissioners were grilled by the Moreland Commission over whether it was adequately overseeing election law violations, saying that before the enforcement counsel post was created, the staff wasn’t there to go after the incorrect or potentially illegal filings.”

“Now when the Moreland Commission did their fact-finding or whatever they did on the Board of Elections, a lot of it was true, but a lot of it was unfair, okay?” Spano said. “First of all, they didn’t have the staff to do this. We had, I don’t know, how many judgments were out there—oh, thousands—where we already had the judgments but we couldn’t get any money from anywhere. We couldn’t go after anybody. Now we go after everybody.”

 

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Orthodox Vote Lawsuit Featured Today on Capitol Pressroom” Radio

At 11 a.m. – “The Capitol Pressroom” features Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy on an upcoming hearing on e-waste, the Lawsuit Reform Alliance’s Tom Stebbins on the Scaffold Law, congressional candidate Will Yandik, and Michael Fragin of Bloomingburg Jewish Community on a voting rights challenge, WCNY.

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Specter Of Corruption Hangs Over Special Elections For Legislature

In the New York Times, Vivian Yee takes  a look at the upcoming special elections to replace recently convicted legislators, including Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos. From the article:

“From the day the men were convicted on corruption charges and stripped of their caramel leather seats in the State Legislature, it seemed safe to assume that the special elections to replace Sheldon Silver and Dean G. Skelos would come down to which of their would-be successors could offer the greatest contrast to the two politicians.

For Assemblyman Todd Kaminsky, a Democrat who is seeking the seat held by Mr. Skelos, a Republican and the former Senate majority leader who was convicted on federal corruption charges in December, there had never been a better moment to be a former federal corruption prosecutor. “Albany urgently needs new, honest leadership,” Mr. Kaminsky said,accepting the nomination last month.”

 

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State BOE Receives Flurry Of ‘Natural-Born’ Objections To Rubio, Cruz

In the Times Union, Casey Seiler reports “the state Board of Elections has received three objections contesting the “natural-born” citizenship of presidential candidates and U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz and/or Marco Rubio submitted in hopes of knocking them off the April 19 Republican primary ballot.

Cruz was born in Canada, though his mother was a U.S. citizen (his father was at the time a Cuban citizen); Cruz finally shed his Canadian dual citizenship in 2014. Rubio was born in Miami, though neither of his parents were at the time naturalized U.S. citizens.”

The New York State Board of Elections was served with the first lawsuit challenging the qualifications of Ted Cruz to appear on the presidential primary ballot. 

 The State Board may seek to dismiss the challenge because of the failure to name and serve the candidate as a necessary party as required by New York case law.

The justice who signed the order to show cause changed the venue from New York County to Albany County.

The order to show cause is returnable on February 26.

The state election commissioners will address the issue when it rules on ballot challenges for the presidential primary on February 23. The New York presidential primary is scheduled for April 19, 2016.

The Order To Show Cause can be read here:Korman v NYSBOE

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Tompkins County Legislature Supports Early Voting In New York State

Ithaca’s WENY reports “The Tompkins County Legislature has voted in favor of a resolution that would make voting easier by giving people more than one day to head to the polls.

The resolution comes as a reaction to provisions in Governor Cuomo’s budget that would create early voting in New York State. It has not been enacted yet.

The legislature passed the resolution in support by a vote of 9 to 3. (Legislators  Dave McKenna, Glenn Morey and Dooley Kiefer voted no; Legislators Mike Sigler and Leslyn McBean-Clairborne were excused)

The legislature’s resolution notes that early voting makes it easier for residents to vote.  Voting sites would open about 12 days prior to all special, primary, and general elections.  It would not apply for village or school district elections.”

– See more at: http://www.weny.com/news/All/early-voting-201716#sthash.FZx2fIqp.dpuf

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Klein Says Board Of Elections Probe Based On ‘Bogus Claim’

Chris Bragg updates yesterday’s story on the Senate IDC campaign finance inquiry in the Times Union. From the article:

“In a radio interview on Wednesday morning, Bronx state Sen. Jeff Klein explained why he believes a state Board of Elections investigation into a campaign group founded by the Klein-led, five-member Independent Democratic Conference stems from a “bogus claim.”

As the Times Union reported this morning, the group, the IDC Initiative, has spent $65,000 in campaign cash on two election attorneys since Mar. 2015 in relation to the inquiry. The probe, by the Board of Elections’ independent enforcement office, stemmed from a complaint filed by a 2014 state Senate candidate, former New York City Comptroller John Liu, who was running in a Democratic primary against Queens state Sen. Tony Avella, an IDC member.

“This was a bogus claim made by John Liu, which is kind of ironic because his career was destroyed by campaign finance violations,” Klein said Wednesday on The Capitol Pressroom with Susan Arbetter.”

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