Friday, February 20, 2009

On Again, Off Again by Elizabeth Benjamin - The Daily Politics - NY Daily News

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Two City Council candidates who have been struggling to remain on the ballot as next week's special elections loom have been bounced out of the running yet again.

Senator-turned-full-time-attorney Marty Connor, who is representing 32nd CD candidate Geraldine Chapey, called in to say an appellate court (second department) chucked Glenn DiResto back off the ballot - just three days after he was put back on by a state Supreme Court justice.

At issue was the fact that DiResto chose the name "Families First" for his ballot line in the nonpartisan Feb. 24 election. Connor argued this ran afoul of election law, which forbids the use of names of already existing parties (in this case, the Working Families Party).

The Board of Elections sided with Connor, the Supreme Court overturned that decision, and now the Appellate Division has said the Board of Elections was right all along. Dara Miles, a freelance writer and Columbia J-School student, caught up with DiResto, who said:

"Elections should be determined in the voting booth, not the courtroom. It's the people's choice. It's unfair that another candidate feels they can take democracy in their own hands. Isn't that tyranny?"

Meanwhile, over in Staten Island's 49th CD, the Advance is reporting a state Supreme Court justice accepted a special referee's finding that embattled candidate John Tabacco fell far short of meeting the 1,367-signature requirement to make it onto the ballot.

Tabacco has had the same on again, off again problem as DiResto due to his selection of a symbol (a star) that was too much like that of an existing party (Democrat) to represent his made-up ballot line.

He was given time to cure that problem by the Board of Elections - a point noted by DiResto's attorney - but then didn't make the signature cut.