The battle for an empty seat in Upper Manhattan took another strange turn today, as it appears the Democratic machine circulated inaccurate information pertaining to the arcane process of selecting a candidate.
Harlem State Senator Bill Perkins exited Albany last month after winning a City Council seat, prompting Gov. Andrew Cuomo to call a special election to fill the vacancy in the capital. Special elections for state posts do not involve primaries: instead, the local county committee—a panel of party insiders—votes at a nominating convention to choose who runs on their line, a forum scheduled for noon today.
The ballots of county committee members are weighted according to how many people in their area pulled the lever for the Democratic candidate in the most gubernatorial election. The campaign for the nomination thus effectively consists of winning over the committee members wielding the greatest clout at the convention.
In deep-blue areas like Harlem, securing the Democratic row on the ballot virtually guarantees victory in the election. This has already led to accusations from three outside candidates—local district leaders John Ruiz and Rev. Al Taylor, and community activist Joyce Johnson—that New York County Democratic Party Chairman Keith Wright has sought to give unfair advantage to his preferred candidate, Brian Benjamin.
The Manhattan Democratic Party is badly fractured, and the official organization holds little sway outside of parts of Harlem.
Now it appears that the Wright’s machine put out inaccurate information yesterday about which members of the committee carried what weight—which apparently amped up the influence of its own supporters on the county committee.
For instance, numbers from the state Board of Elections turnout suggest Wright himself and his wife—both members of the county committee themselves—would share a weight of 335 votes. But a list that Wright’s organization shared with the various candidates and their campaigns accorded the two of them 601 votes.
The Observer identified nearly 50 other such discrepancies between the BOE numbers and the Democratic machine’s numbers, amounting to almost 14,000 votes, enough potentially to sway a tight convention, where many expect Taylor to scrape close to Benjamin.
Committee members who, going by the BOE’s figures, would enjoy 97 votes saw their worth swell to 438 in the machine’s calculations—or from 38 to 203, and from 73 to 461. Others had their weight tank from 157 votes to zero.
Most of the surges occurred in the boundaries of the Assembly district that Wright used to represent, and among members who sources identified as those supporting Benjamin for the State Senate seat.
“We can’t have a legitimate election if we don’t even know how many eligible votes exist,” Ruiz complained to the Observer. “And we can’t have a credible outcome if there’s no independent oversight. This is chaos, and there’s been more democratic elections in North Korea.”
Wright and his staff did not respond to requests for comment.
more recommended stories
- Sanders Announces Funds for Vermontâ€™s Community Health Centers
BURLINGTON, Vt., Aug. 17 â€“ U.S..
- “Vile, Hateful & Racist”: A Fargo Family Disowns White Supremacist Relative After Charlottesville
This is a rush transcript. Copy.
- Life After Hate: Trump Admin Stops Funding Former Neo-Nazis Who Now Fight White Supremacy
This is a rush transcript. Copy.
- Bernie Sanders Tells Big Pharma: Stop Making Americans Pay Twice
While both political parties have denounced.
- Civil Asset Forfeiture Is Not Policing The USA
In America you’re innocent until proven.
- Ethics Watchdog Files Complaint Against Wasserman Schultz
The Foundation for Accountability and Civic.
- Big-name union supporters speak out with vote less than two days away
CANTON, MS (Mississippi News Now) –.
- Maine Governor Begs Feds to “Bring the Hammer Down” on His Own State
Gov. Paul LePage is doing it.
- Senate Committee Votes to Continue Protections for Medical Marijuana States
A vote was taken at the.
- Court Rules Against Politician Who Banned Access to Her Facebook Page
Facebook page of Virginia county politician.