Monthly Archives: July 2018

Editorial: Cayuga County Legislators Should Prioritize Redistricting

From an editorial in the Auburn Citizen: “On a legislative body, that concept makes sense for arriving at collective decisions in a fair and equitable manner. And we suspect that if you polled the 15 members of the Cayuga County Legislature, most would agree with the idea.

But despite decades of opportunities to work toward the equal districts concept, Cayuga County residents remain stuck with a weighted vote system that spreads out a wide range of voting power among the individual elected legislators.”

This debate should focus on whether the weighted voting districts violate the one-person/one vote standard.

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Felder Seeks To Remove Morris From Ballot For Using Fake Name

Stephen Witt reports in Kings County Politics: “What’s in a name? Everything if your name is Lawrence B. Morris, Lawrence Blake Morris, L. Blake Morris or just plain old Blake Morris.

And it will be up to a State Supreme Court judge on which is Morris’ real name. The decision will determine whether using the name Blake Morris on his nominating petitions, can constitute him being kicked off the Democratic ballot for the upcoming state primary, in which he is challenging State Sen. Simcha Felder (D) in the 17th Senate District.”

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Former I.D.C. Senators Are Ordered To Return Campaign Money

From the NY Times’ Jesse McKinley, “The state’s top election enforcement officer has demanded that the former members of a group of rogue Democratic state senators return hundreds of thousands of dollars in political donations, less than two months before they face stiff primary challenges.”

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Upstate Jobs Party Lose Preliminary Injunction Before Second Circuit




v. No. 18-1586-cv

PETER S. KOSINSKI, New York State Board of

Elections Co-Chair Commissioner, in his official capacity,

DOUGLAS A. KELLNER, New York State Board of

Elections Co-Chair Commissioner, in his official capacity,

ANDREW J. SPANO, New York State Board of Elections

Commissioner, in his official capacity, GREGORY P.

PETERSON, New York State Board of Elections

Commissioner, in his official capacity,



FOR APPELLANTS: Shawn Sheehy, Jason B. Torchinsky, Holtzman

Vogel Josefiak Torchinsky, PLLC, Warrenton,

Virginia; Michael Burger, Santiago Burger,

LLP, Pittsford, New York.

Case 18-1586, Document 82-1, 07/20/2018, 2349199, Page1 of 6


FOR APPELLEES: Andrea Oser, Deputy Solicitor General, Jennifer

L. Clark, Assistant Solicitor General, for

Barbara D. Underwood, Attorney General of the

State of New York, Albany, New York.

Appeal from an order of the United States District Court for the Northern District

of New York (Glenn T. Suddaby, Chief Judge) denying a preliminary injunction.


AND DECREED that the order entered on May 22, 2018, is AFFIRMED.

Plaintiffs Upstate Jobs Party, its founder, Martin Babinec, and its Chairman and

Executive Director, John Bullis (together, “UJP”), appeal from the denial of their motion

preliminarily to enjoin commissioners of the New York State Board of Elections

(“Board”) from enforcing certain state election laws that restrict campaign contributions

to and from “Independent Bodies” such as UJP in ways that do not apply to political

“Parties.”1 Arguing that the disparate treatment violates constitutional rights of free

speech and equal protection, see U.S. Const. amend. I & XIV, UJP seeks to enjoin

enforcement of (1) N.Y. Elec. Law § 14-114(1) and 9 N.Y.C.R.R. § 6214.0, which

prohibit individual contributions to UJP greater than $44,000 and UJP contributions to its

own gubernatorial candidate greater than $44,000, but which allow individual

contributions to Parties up to $109,600 and Party contributions to their own candidates in unlimited amounts; and (2) N.Y. Elec. Law § 14-124(3), which permits Parties, but not

UJP, to establish “Housekeeping Accounts” for which Parties may raise funds in any

1 See N.Y. Elec. Law § 1-104(3), (12) (defining Parties as organizations whose

gubernatorial candidates received at least 50,000 votes in most recent election and

Independent Bodies as organizations not Parties).

Case 18-1586, Document 82-1, 07/20/2018, 2349199, Page2 of 6

amount for “ordinary activities . . . not for the express purpose of promoting the

candidacy of specific candidates,” id.


Read the decision here: 82-1 2d Cir PI Decision

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Candidate Kicked Off The Ballot? It All Happens In This Room

Jeff Coltin reports in City & State “In a bland office building in Lower Manhattan, a couple dozen New Yorkers are sitting, bored, waiting for an opportunity to defend our democracy.

They are in the office of the New York City Board of Elections, in a room that, most of the time, serves as the BOE’s boardroom. For a few weeks every year, it becomes the petition hub for the city, the room through which all designating petitions for elections flow – and where all those petitions are challenged by opponents.”

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Ocasio-Cortez Confronts Crowley Over His ‘Third-Party Challenge’

From Lisa W, Foderaro in the NY Times, “So will Representative Joseph Crowley remain on the ballot in November, and challenge Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as a third-party candidate on the Working Families Party?

That question, raised in an article in The New York Times about third-party politics in New York, took on a life of its own Thursday morning, as Ms. Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter to complain about Mr. Crowley — with the longtime congressman quickly responding.”

And on the Times editorial page, “Though Ms. Ocasio-Cortez defeated Joseph Crowley, a leading House Democrat, in a congressional primary that sent shock waves through the party, Mr. Crowley’s name will almost certainly appear on the ballot in November under a third-party line. That’s thanks to a quirk in New York State’s election laws, an embarrassingly retrograde system that protects incumbents by confusing voters and suppressing turnout.”


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Essex County To Appeal FOIL Decision To State’s Highest Court

Peter Demola reports in The Sun “(t) he state Supreme Court Appellate Division ruled last April electronic voting records can be obtained without a court order.

But Essex County will now appeal the decision to the state’s highest court.

Lawmakers voted in an 13-4 motion last Monday to authorize Essex County Attorney Dan Manning to appeal to the New York State Court of Appeals in the long-running legal clash.”


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