Monthly Archives: October 2016

Upstart Group Wins Legal Battle Over Control Of The Reform Party

In Politico NY, Bill Mahoney reports on today’s court decision where “A judge has dismissed a legal challenge against a group that usurped control of the Reform Party in New York State in September. With this dismissal, Curtis Sliwa retains his new position as head of this political organization. A link to the decision can be found at the end of the linked article.

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Two Candidates File Reports For 2016 NYC Council Elections

From the NYC Campaign Finance Board:

As of 11:59 PM on Friday, October 28th, two candidates in the 2016 off-year elections in City Council Districts 17 and 51 filed required campaign finance disclosure statements with the New York City Campaign Finance Board (CFB).

By midnight October 28th, #NYC2016 candidates were required to file disclosure statements detailing their campaigns’ financial activity from October 4 to October 24, 2016.                                     

The following candidates have filed disclosure statements. Updated and detailed information for these candidates can be found on the CFB website’s financial summary page and in the searchable online database.

2016 City Council Districts 17 and 51 Off-Year Elections

City Council

Borelli, Joseph C (#51)

Salamanca, Jr., Rafael (#17)

The CFB has updated its Twitter feed, @NYCCFB, with the received fiilings. You can easily search for updates with the hashtag #FilingDay.

Candidates were able to deliver statements to the CFB, submit filings electronically, or send the materials by mail, as long as mailed submissions were postmarked by midnight, October 28.

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The Reform Party’s Long, Winding Road Takes Another Turn

In Politico NY, Bill Mahoney takes a look at New York’s Reform Party and Curtis Sliwa’s attempt to lead it.

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Suffolk GOP Elections Commissioner Questions Opportunity For Ballot Fraud

Suffolk County GOP Elections Commissioner Nicholas LaLota is opening the door to possible voter fraud by arguing that the lack of photo ID requirements creates a problem.

David M Schwartz covers this story in Newsday:  “LaLota said in an interview he is not “worried” about fraudulent voting, but said he believes state law should change.”

The article quotes UC Irvine Law Professor Rick Hasen: “What he’s talking about is impersonation fraud, which is extremely rare…”


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GOP & Hannon Take Working Families To Court Over Independent Expenditures

The Working Families Party and New Yorkers Together are due in the state appellate division  on November 1 after an order to appear was signed today by Appellate Justice Jeffrey Cohen.

The two groups are being challenged by the state GOP and Nassau State Senator Kemp Hannon for allegedly violating Election Law Section 14-107 (independent expenditures).

State Supreme Court Justice Daniel Palmieri  refused to sign the order to show cause and dismissed the petition sua sponte. Justice Palmieri’s decision begins at page 24 of the transcript. The two political organizations are supporting Democratic candidates for state senate.

.Read the order here: gop_hannon

Other court documents are here: order-from-nsc-palmieri   respondents-oppositiontranscript-nscgop-hannon-verified-petition

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Why The 2020 Census Needs Adequate Funding

Our friends at the Washington, D.C. based Census Project released a statement on the need for Congress to adequately fund the 2020 census effort:

Congress Needs to Fully Fund Planning for Next Decennial Census

Because of the continuing resolution funding the federal government at FY 2016 levels, the Census Bureau is currently $180 million under budget for 2020 Census planning in FY2017, while the companion American Community Survey (ACS) is $21 million under budget, according to a letter from the nonpartisan, multi-sector Census Project.

Budget uncertainties for the fiscal year that started October 1st forced the bureau this week to cancel a large portion of field tests planned for 2017 on American Indian reservations and tribal lands and in Puerto Rico; the test included the only planned evaluation of special counting methods used in rural, remote, and other communities with inconsistent mail service or nontraditional addressing.

Funding shortfalls “will jeopardize implementation of a modern, cost-effective and accurate 2020 Census and a robust ACS,” said a letter from the Census Project to the House and Senate appropriations committees. While neither the House nor Senate passed the FY2017 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill, which covers the Census Bureau, committee negotiators are working now to finalize agency funding levels, possibly in an omnibus bill, before the temporary budget measure runs out on December 9.

The Census Project is a longstanding coalition of census stakeholders that includes state and local governments, business and industry, civil rights and labor groups, housing and child advocates, and research and professional organizations that support an accurate and comprehensive census and ACS.

Co-signers of the letter included a diverse range of national and local organizations, including the National Association of Home Builders, the NAACP, the Partnership for American’s Children and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund. “Failure to provide a funding level for decennial census planning that is closer to the president’s request could cost taxpayers billions of dollars, as the Census Bureau is forced to fall back on more costly but ‘tried and true’ counting methods.

Alternatively, the bureau would have to forge ahead with sweeping operational reforms that have not been fully tested,” the Census Project letter said. The stakeholders noted that, “In FY 2017, the Census Bureau must make final design decisions in advance of the 2018 End-to-End Census Test, when all systems and operations are integrated in a census-like environment.”

Critical activities — beyond the now-canceled site tests — that would be funded by the administration’s request are:

– expanded work to update the master address list and spatial (mapping) information using new, cost-effective methods;

– build-out of all IT systems in time for the End-to-End Test;

– a National Sample Test of 80,000 households to evaluate non-ID Internet responses, a Spanish language Internet response option, a new telephone questionnaire assistance and response option, and a Cloud environment for data storage;

-submission of 2020 Census and ACS topics to Congress by April 1, 2017, as required by law;

-further refinement and final decisions on 2020 Census question wording, including a revised question on race and ethnicity; and o development of the Integrated Communications Campaign and Partnership Program, with a focus on market segmentation and overall planning.

The Census Project letter noted the tight timetable for completing 2020 Census planning and the lack of flexibility in the schedule leading up to the next population count. “The Census Bureau cannot implement these activities in a thorough and timely way without sufficient funding in FY 2017. Equally important, it cannot reclaim lost time and compensate for reduced scope of final tests and early preparations at this point in the cycle,” the letter emphasized.

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New Yorkers Sue For The Right To Take ‘Ballot Selfies’

This was going to happen sooner or later. New York State law prohibits the taking of photographs of voters voting. Attorney Leo Glickman filed a lawsuit on behalf of three New Yorkers in federal court. The case of covered by  the New York Post’s Chris Perez (who also includes a copy of the complaint).

Federal courts in other states have rejected state laws banning voting selfies. The parties here are due in court on November 1.

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