Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Gov. David Paterson was Right to Cancel Sham Special Election in Queens - Daily News Editotial

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Embarrassing as it was for Gov. Paterson to call a special election in Queens' 38th Assembly District - then, hours later, cancel it - he ended up right. Voters should choose a representative through a full-fledged, open primary election, not a party-rigged sham. Especially after what they've been through.

Residents of the 38th - covering Ridgewood, Glendale, Woodhaven and Ozone Park - were long represented by Tony Seminerio. In classic Albany form, he pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges in June and left office. The primary to replace him was set for Sept. 15, and several Democratic candidates had already submitted papers to run.

Then, out of nowhere last Friday, Paterson called a special election, on the cockamamie theory that the district couldn't wait until January to have a new Assembly member sworn in. That move would have nixed the primary and instead let Democratic Party bosses install a successor to Seminerio, i.e., handpick a tool.

Paterson realized his error. A few hours after authorizing the special election, aides said their boss hadn't made up his mind yet after all.

Stick with your second instinct, governor. Let the voters choose.