Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Petition Snafu Threatens To End Lynn Nunes Council Candidacy At BoE by Chris Bragg - City Hall News

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Lynn Nunes’ Council race may be over before it even began.
Just days before the end of his unsuccessful State Senate primary against Shirley Huntley, Nunes irked some of his backers by simultaneously applying for matching funds in the Council race to replace the deceased Tom White. At the same time, Nunes’ sister, Elaine, petitioned onto the ballot for the Council race, with the unspoken intention of ceding the spot to her brother via her committee on vacancies if the Senate campaign was unsuccessful.
And so the plan went into motion last week, after Nunes fell to Huntley by a 2-1 margin in Tuesday’s primary.
But it too seems to be falling short of expectations.
The New York City Board of Elections is initiating prima facie objections against the petitions of both Lynn and Elaine Nunes for the special election, based on the party name they created for the purposes of the election: Working Harder for Queens.

The problem is simple, and is one that has cut short special election candidacies before: their new party name is similar to that of the existing Working Families Party. And according to Board of Elections rules, the name of a party used on designating petitions cannot share all or any part of the name of an existing political party. (Huntley, as it happens, received the WFP line for the Senate race earlier in the summer.)
The Board of Elections considered a very similar issue just last February, for the special election fill the Council seat Joe Addabbo vacated to go to the State Senate. Glenn DiResto, a former police officer who had petitioned for the seat as the candidate of the Families First party was booted from the ballot because he had used the other operative word in the WFP’s title.
Eventually, DiResto was allowed back on the ballot by a judge, but only because the Board had given another candidate in the race the chance to change the name of their party after making a similar error.
In a phone conversation early Monday, Nunes said he was not sure if he would be running for the Council, and did not mention the BOE snafu.
Nunes did not return subsequent calls for comment.
J.C. Polanco, the Board’s Republican commissioner from the Bronx, said a BOE hearing
would be held on Tuesday, Sept. 28 regarding Nunes’ petitions. The special election is set to be held on the day of the general election, Nov. 2.
Already, 22 general objections have been filed in the race against nearly every one of the dozen potential candidates. A general objector named Joseph Thomas Jr. filed objections against Elaine Nunes, while general objectors Sharon Smith and Troy L. Jackson filed objections against both Elaine and Lynn Nunes.
Between them, Smith and Jackson appear to have lodged general objections at least once against every candidate except for Ruben Wills, the favorite of Huntley and Assembly Member Vivian Cook. Wills, who is running as the candidate of A Better Way, had his petitions challenged by Jaime Nunes.
General objections were also filed against the Taxpayers line petitions filed by Michael Allegretti, who lost the GOP Congressional primary to face Rep. Mike McMahon last week, as well as the Taxpayers petitions of Nicole Malliotakis, hoping to unseat Assembly Member Janele Hyer-Spencer. New lines with names playing off the word “taxes” appear to be somewhat taxing themselves: the Tax Cuts Now! line of Anthony Como, running against State Sen. Joe Addabbo, was challenged by three people, and the Taxed Enough line of Vince Tabone, running for the seat being vacated by Ann-Margaret Carrozza, was challenged by two people.