How to steal an election - NY Daily News editorial, 7/20/08
Political insiders are hijacking a pair of city elections, and Gov. Paterson, sad to say, is aiding the conspiracy.
Assemblymen Ivan Lafayette of Queens and Luis Diaz of the Bronx are vacating their seats for jobs in the Paterson administration. Each is exploiting election law to give voters as little say as possible about who next represents them in Albany.
It works like this: They collected petitions to get onto this fall's ballot. Then, at the last minute, they "declined" the Democratic nomination - leaving the choice of replacement candidates to party insiders.
Those insiders anointed a couple of their fellow party honchos - Michael Den Dekker for Lafayette's seat and Hector Ramirez for Diaz's. Both have the inside track because it's too late for additional challengers to enter the fray.
Such underhanded tactics are a big part of what makes Albany so dysfunctional. Pols treat their offices as personal property to be deeded to pals, so why should they give two figs about what the people want?
Paterson greased the way by awarding Lafayette and Diaz patronage jobs. It all amounts to grand theft democracy.