Monday, May 18, 2009

Lawsuit: Only Way to Reform the State's Tammany Hall Created Election Laws

The Only Way to Reform the State's Tammany Hall-Created Election Laws

Legal election law expert and reform gadfly Aaron Maslow has a chance Tuesday (May 19) at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, at 2 p.m., at the Moynihan Federal Courthouse, 500 Pearl Street, Manhattan, 9th floor courtroom, to effect real reform to the state's Election Law. The so-called good government groups, despite thousands of press conferences, have never resulted in one ounce of reform to the state's Election Law. Albany will never reform the Election Law that protects their Incumbent Protection Society. The only reform to ballot access in the last 20 years occurred because the Bush campaign tried to keep John McCain off the New York Primary Ballot in 2000. After the McCain campaign took the Republican Party to court, Federal District Court Judge Edward Korman ruled that ADs, EDs and totals on nominating petitions cover sheets did not have to be set forth. Judge Korman, who also ruled that candidates can correct their petition cover sheets for defects after they are submitted to the Board of Elections, did more than any Good Government group ever did to make a very restrictive ballot access system a little bit easier for challengers.

Maslow's lawsuit, captioned Lori Maslow, et al. v. Board of Elections in the City of New York (Court of Appeals Docket No. 08-3075-CV), seeks to eliminate the need for petition carriers to be registered voters and enrolled party members. He says that the ability of people in other parties (or those not registered in any party) to contribute funds for hiring party member petition carriers, makes limiting petition carriers to party members unconstitutional. He also says that allowing Notaries Public and Commissioners of Deeds who live outside the state and are not party members to petition to collect signatures violates the Equal Protection rights of in-state residents who are not party members and cannot collect signatures.

The current witness requirements under challenge date back to 1951 when, during the Cold War, the State Legislature enacted the "Travia Act." Designated in part to put the left-wing American Labor Party out of business, the legislative history also reveals that that the sponsors intentionally wanted to make it more difficult for insurgents to challenge candidates backed by the regular party organizations.

In 1999, in Buckley v. American Constitutional Law Foundation, the U.S. Supreme Court held unconstitutional Colorado's requirement that referendum petition witnesses be registered voters. The Plaintiffs in Maslow are asserting that the Buckley decision applies to candidate petitions to qualify for the primary election in New York. Three federal Courts of Appeals (6, 7th, and 9th Circuits) and various federal District Courts have applied Buckley to candidate petitions.

Not one paper or blog has picked up on the Maslow lawsuit despite his efforts to gain exposure for his reform effort. Perhaps the good government groups are too busy planning their next news conferences to help him. Also unwilling to help Maslow are the elected officials who put in one-house reform bills to help them build a reform following.

Either way, whatever the outcome at the U.S. Court of Appeals, this case looks headed for the U.S. Supreme Court. *** Update***Another Good Government Press Release Overhaul of Election System Is Urged Citizens Union argued that a reorganization and centralization of the elections system would make it easier for residents to vote and speed up the replacement of antiquated voting technology.

Nobody Asked Me, But . . . The Blue Wall of Silence which has been weakened inside the police department continues in full force with the city’s pols without media opposition. The Political Wall of Silence means nobody comments about Brian McLaughlin or any other pol caught in wrongdoing 'CAUGHT STEALING' POL SUED . . . With firehouses being closed and education budgets being cut, is it really wise to spend $50 million on an outdoor arena just so Marty Markowitz can hold his summer concerts? CONEY SOUND & FURY . . . The Catholic Church is not always outraged by pols who are pro-choice, esp if they control the budgets to their hospitals and other institutions BLOOMY GETS A 'PASS' FROM DOLAN . . . Something tells me the NYP does not like Mark Green MARK'S IFFY 311 BOAST . . . Back to the Future PILING ON THE TAXES NYERS PAYING EXTRA MONTH'S RENT IN NUISANCE FEES . . . Judges in Brooklyn are trying to stop an investigation into paying for judgeships which never ever happens in Kings County, just ask Clarence Norman: New York Post Takes on the Brooklyn Judiciary . . . Why limit it to Harlem when the entire city has been abandoned by the media A Newsroom to Cover the Disenfranchised Voices in Harlem . . . Did John Gotti or the bank's lobbyists write today's editorial in the NYT about credit card interest (or should I say usury) rates? 36 Percent Is High Enough . . . Bloomberg's handlers understand Hank Morris' Triangulation. His supporters include conservatives and orthdox Jews against gay rights and now he is leading the marriage rights movement Gay marriage battle draws huge rallies for and against; Mayor Bloomberg senses 'history' in making . . . The tangled web uncovered by True News' pension probe grows. . . If you want to predict where Albany's budget mess is going check out California. . . What a fake and phoney Golisano's Parting Shots

Play to Play 'CAUGHT STEALING' POL SUED LITTLE LEAGUE FLAP The Queens Little League looted by disgraced ex-Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin wants payback. The Electchester Athletic Association of Flushing wants $95,000 in restitution from McLaughlin *** Even more scandals, discord than usual in Albany last week *** Steve Rattner is moving full-speed ahead with construction of a lavish, $15 million summer home in the Lambert's Cove area of West Tisbury on Martha's Vineyard *** Carl McCall stepped down from an educational services company that did business with SUNY's Research Foundation *** A firm founded by Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith is bidding for a state contract to provide video lottery terminals *** If At First They Won't Resign... Paterson's latest approach to dealing with the Public Integrity Commission members and staffers who have refused to heed his calls to resign is to more or less pull the rug out from under them by introducing legislation that would do away with the embattled ethics watchdog altogether *** Still No Campaign Finance Filings From Espada *** Update *** Barrett: Spitzer/Bruno Troopergate Still Toppling Officials

Road to City Hall MARK'S IFFY 311 BOAST Perennial political candidate Mark Green routinely boasts on the campaign trail about his brilliant "idea" to create 311 -- but the first such hot line was created five years earlier *** BIZMAN POL IS GOPERS' PLAN B NEW YORK Republicans are eyeing a dynamic but little- known upstate businessman and elected official to run for governor next year if Rudy Giuliani declines - little known Erie County Exeuctive Chris Collins *** Why the Democrats Can't Win City Hall *** Prez is doing great - by copying me, Bloom tells mag *** Malcolm Smith For Gillibrand (Updated) *** TRADING PLACES? IMAGINE A DEM SHAKEUP an "alternative game plan" for 2009: Bill Thompson for state comptroller (against incumbent Tom DiNapoli), AG Andrew Cuomo for governor, Rep. Anthony Weiner to challenge Bloomberg *** Kennedy Denies Children Asked Her Not to Pursue Senate Seat

The City TERROR DRAMA ONLY A TEST Lower Manhattan was turned into a disaster area yesterday *** 'COURT' FIGHT OVER FAMED VILLAGE HOOPS SITE Critics are calling foul on a plan to rent the fabled West Fourth Street Courts today for a private gala *** CHARTER-GROUP BIG'S 700G HAUL OF LEARNING The former director of a nonprofit charter-school organization was paid nearly $700,000 in her last year on the job -- almost triple the salary of the schools chancellor *** YONKERS PARENTS SNEAK A BRONX EDUCATION *** SWINE OUTBREAK NOW FATAL PRINCIPAL IS NYC'S 1ST DEATH ***
Coney Island residents protested loudly yesterday against a planned 5,000-seat outdoor arena in Asser Levy Park they say will create excessive noise and disrupt services at the nearby Seaview *** GAY-NUPTIAL RALLIES CLASH *** G WHIZ! MORE STOPS For once, subway construction is actually going to increase service -- at least for G train riders. Straphangers on the only line that doesn't enter Manhattan will get service to five more stops into Park Slope *** RIDERSHIP ON SUBWAY DWINDLING *** HARDHATS BRING DOWN THE HOUSE INSIDE PEEK AT YANKEE STADIUM DIG FOR GOLD *** HIV CASES SKYROCKET AMID APPLE'S TEENS *** NY SHUTTLE BID *** NEW LAW AIDS TEEN INMATES *** Wheels coming off Atlantic Yards project From Crain's *** Lollipops Diner back in business From the Queens Chronicle *** Queens assistant principal dies of swine flu *** A Hearing Test Made for the Big City *** Opposing Rallies Over Issue of Same-Sex Marriage *** PATH Emergency Drill, Done as Advertised *** Contract Deal Is Reached for Security Guards in City *** Neighborhood Movie Treatment The Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting says the city’s films and TV shows are good for the local economy. So far there seems to be no organized protest, NYT Ed *** Mayor To Name New City Health Commissioner *** Annual AIDS Walk Draws Thousands *** Homeland Security cash spent on lemon boat *** City's new health commissioner a lot like the old one *** Toll battle won, but war to end Cross Bay Bridge fee continues *** Bradley Wants Nets to Play in Newark, Not Brooklyn

Albany TAX CHEATS OWE STATE $250M: LAWMAKERS *** DN Editorial: Way off track The state's highest court has rendered a breathtakingly foolhardy decision that will severely hamper New York law enforcement authorities - including in anti-terror investigations *** Michael Gormley writes that school taxes may be low this year, but they mask bigger issues *** Critics warn that the new state loan program signed into law by Gov. David Paterson could be risky for students and parents *** The Assembly passed 14 bills addressing issues important to people with disabilities in honor of the bipartisan Assembly Disabilities Awareness Day *** Paterson introduces legislation to expand health coverage for the young and unemployed and also reassert state control over insurance hikes *** Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith cofounded one of the companies seeking an Aquaduct VLT contract *** Smith tells graduates of Morrisville State College to “change the world.” *** Some Assembly members didn’t get any pork this year; some opted out *** Sweeping changes could be in the offing for the state's OTBs *** For African-American Senators, a 'Thorny Dilemma' in the Politics of Same-Sex Marriage *** Racial Disparities Found Under State Health Plans *** Paterson Calls for a New Ethics Commission *** Update *** Director of State Ethics Panel Resigns

What they said:

What they mean:
How can I get the public's mind off the the pension pay-to-play scandal? I'm paying all these high priced campaign consultants (not Morris) to improve my image to trick the public into thinking I am a reformer.

President Obama PREZ'S VISIT IS 'AN HONOR,' LIER SAYS *** PRO-LIFE LAW GRAD BOYCOTTS ADDRESS *** RUMMY IN INTELLIGENCE PREACH: MAG *** BAM MOVES TO AID COURT PICK *** OBAMA IN THE LIONS' DEN MAKES ABORTION APPEAL IN SPEECH AT NOTRE DAME *** PREZ'S VISIT IS 'AN HONOR,' LIER SAYS *** Netanyahu set to meet Obama for Mideast talks *** Obama taps aide to guide nominee for Supreme Court *** Finding clues in Obama's Senate record on justices *** Obama chief of staff to grads: Learn from failing *** Obama budget chief: Economy almost bottomed out *** At Notre Dame, Obama Calls for 'Open Minds' (Washington Post) *** The Six Issues That Divide Bibi from Barack *** Biden Reveals Location of Super-Secret 9/11 Bunker... *** PoliticsNotre Dame Protester's Shouts Included In Official White House Speech Transcript *** Treasury aide Stephanie Cutter will move to the White House to guide the Supreme Court nomination. Some Republicans acknowledge that the GOP may not be able to derail the nominee *** Exclusive: Obama plans new fuel rule *** Obama makes quiet play for GOP aid *** VIDEO: Obama at Notre Dame *** Obama picks off another moderate *** Gates: Years until Afghan forces ready *** Iran key to Obama-Netanyahu meet *** Words with a pro-Obama Republican *** U.S. to Issue Tougher Fuel Standards for Automobiles *** Can Obama Meet Bibi's Challenge? - Mustafa Barghouthi, Los Angeles Times *** Obama's Dangerous Debt - Robert Samuelson, Newsweek *** Did Rahm OK Panetta's Pelosi Smackdown? - Bill Kristol, Washington Post *** Obama, The Realist - Jerusalem Post *** Obama's Commencement Address at Notre Dame - Barack Obama *** Update *** Administration to Set Car Emissions Standards *** Bill Clinton Named Envoy to Haiti *** 25,000 Postal Jobs Cut This Year

Congress & GOP House, EPA to tackle climate policy alternatives *** Congress has little appetite for health care taxes *** Pelosi's Allegations Challenged *** Sen. says: No Gitmo goons in backyard *** Republicans fear Latino flight *** GOP keeps the heat on Pelosi over CIA *** Byrd hospitalized for 'minor infection' *** Conditions For a Coup in Congress - John Feehery, Politico *** Pelosi's Burden of Truth - San Francisco Chronicle *** Waxman Labors for Cap-and-Trade Votes - The Hill *** Rep. King and ACLU Pres. Romero Debate Guantanamo - Face the Nation

National REGIONAL ERR-LINES BIG-COMPANY LOGOS DISGUISE LITTLE CARRIERS *** Study links cigarette changes to rising lung risk *** Furloughs to close NJ MVC offices Mon. *** Understanding America's Shift on Abortion *** Prosecutors Block Access to DNA Testing for Inmates *** As Alaska Glaciers Melt, It’s Land That’s Rising *** Earthquake Shakes Los Angeles Area *** Dropout Factories By focusing on remaking a small number of troubled high schools, the country stands a good chance of keeping in school millions of students who would otherwise drop out, NYT Ed *** Baseball Tickets Too Much? Check Back Tomorrow *** Economy limiting services of local police... *** New Yorker: Chief Justice Roberts Has Served Interests And Reflected Values Of The GOP *** Jason Linkins TV SoundOff: Sunday Talking Heads *** Hardware snafu for shuttle astronauts *** The Right-Winger on the Supreme Court *** Philadelphia Debates Tax Break Program *** Court Overturns Maternity Ruling *** Chief Justice Roberts: No More Mr. Nice Guy - Jeffrey Toobin, New Yorker *** America's Spy Agencies Are Being Undermined - Washington Times *** Schwarzenegger Pleads for Passage of Budget Measures - Los Angeles Times *** Rising Incomes May Help Dems Avert Election Debacle - Bloomberg

Wall Street Mess THE WEEK'S WINNERS AND LOSERS *** Are Madoff's Clients Victims Or Accomplices? *** Questions raised over philanthropist tied to Madoff *** So Far So Good It looks as if Chrysler will emerge from its restructuring a more sensible company. But still looming is the fate of General Motors, NYT Ed *** Cellphone Makers Hope for a Blockbuster Summer *** G.M. Seeks More Imports From Low-Wage Regions *** BusinessOusted CEO Wagoner Still On GM's Payroll As Treasury Mulls $20M Severance Package *** Trump Reveals Secrets Of His Financial Worth As Part Of Lawsuit Against Writer *** Madoff Victims Are Investigated *** Trump Explains How He Values His Empire *** Soak the Rich, Lose the Rich - Arthur Laffer & Stephen Moore, WSJ

International Security Tight as Trial Starts for Activist in Burma *** India's Hindu Party Reflects on Election Drubbing *** Pakistan says offensive against Taliban killed nearly 1,000 fighters *** Darfur rebel to appear at war crimes tribunal *** Colombo: Tamil Tiger Leader Killed in Ambush *** Pakistan Is Rapidly Adding Nuclear Arms, U.S. Says *** Vote in India Reshapes Landscape *** Toyota's New Prius Goes on Sale in Japan *** Italian Papers Publish Torture Photos *** China Demolishes Sex Theme Park *** Kuwait Elects First Women Lawmakers *** Midnight in the century in Pakistan *** Mideast Contest Of Wills - Jackson Diehl, Washington Post *** The Bloody End in Sri Lanka - The Guardian

People and Places TV KID A CLUB KING MASON REESE IN COMEBACK *** Jamie Foxx to Play Sinatra? *** Woody Goes to Court

Media and New Tech NEW CELL APP RESCUES KIDS ** TIMES' DOWD IN COPY FLAP *** MAGS' ADS PLUNGE *** TV ADS UP TO LESS SPONSORS BALK AT HIGHER RATES DURING PRIMETIME *** Media Notes: A Smaller, Better Newsweek? Q&A *** Will Billionaire David Geffen Buy The Times? *** Why 60 Percent of Twitterers Quit *** A Newsroom to Cover the Disenfranchised Voices in Harlem *** TV Decoder: Blogging the Network Upfronts *** In Slump, Networks Scramble Lineups *** New Mood in Antitrust May Target Google *** For Wired, a Revival Lacks Ads *** Site Lets Writers Sell Digital Copies *** Law Students Teach Scalia About Privacy and the Web *** Newspapers No Longer Dominate Journalism Fellowships *** Fox to Release ‘24’ DVD Right After Season Finale *** The Case of the Vanishing Herald Tribune Files, Now Solved *** Media Cache: Pay Walls Alone Won’t Save Newspapers *** Biden Reveals Location of Super-Secret 9/11 Bunker... *** NYT: NYT probably 'has wherewithal to operate into 2011'... *** WATCH: Bush And Cheney Reunite On SNL Season Finale *** Cheaper iPhone Plans From AT&T On The Horizon? *** Top 30 Newspaper Websites For April *** NBC Still Waiting For A Hit From Wunderkind Ben Silverman *** Dark day at Baltimore Sun, say critics

Blog Report

Room Eight Has Prescriptions For MTA (Room Eight) *** Atlantic Yards Runs Aground (Queens Crap) *** 1st Amendment: Who Needs It? Mayoral Aides Eject Esposito From Event (Queens Crap) *** A Tree Grows On Houston Street (Bowery Boogie) *** Project Chronicles East Village History (E.V. Grieve) *** Audubon Park And Fort Washington Church Now Landmarks (Manhattan Times News) *** Environmental Film/Discussion Series In Brooklyn Wed. 5/27 (Sustainable Flatbush) *** Vacant Lot Transformed Through Mini-Golf (BushwickBK) *** Brooklyn’s Uncommon Projects (Caton Avenue) *** Swine Flu Claims Beloved Assistant Principal (Sheepshead Bites)