Thursday, August 7, 2008

Guide to machine politics

The Queens Democratic Party isn't behaving very democratically, according to four party insurgents seeking office this fall.

The southeastern Queens candidates - who are running for the U.S. House of Representatives, state Assembly and two district leader positions - accused incumbents of using "dirty tactics" by challenging their signatures to get on the ballot in September.

"They want to use yesterday's politics to keep the status quo," Ruben Wills said Friday at a protest in front of the Board of Elections office on Queens Blvd.

"We've had a lack of leadership in southeast Queens for the last 10 years," said Wills, who is running against Rep. Greg Meeks (D-Far Rockaway) and currently serves as chief of staff to state Sen. Shirley Huntley (D-Jamaica).

More than a dozen protesters chanted and waved signs with slogans that included "Democrats Scared of Democracy," "Let Them Run" and "This is Queens 2008 Not Florida 2000."


Hopefuls cry foul in Queens Democratic races; 'dirty tactics' involved

For those of you who think there's no such thing as a political machine, here's a guide to how the machine works, courtesy of the Daily Gotham.

10 comments:

Miles Mullin said...

But the deep relationships that seem to enmesh the machines of both parties, especially in the outer boroughs and in some regions upstate, suggest that they exist mainly for the maintenance of jobs and revenue to a selected group of insiders. It is, essentially, the professionalization and unionizing, if you will, of the exercise of political power. Machines are, literally, a closed shop.

Anonymous said...

If you don't have enough valid signatures you can't get on the ballot, this is to prevent choas amounts of candidates on the ballot.

So what is stopping them from getting on the ballot? A lack of people who signed a petition of support for their candidacy?

Is that unreasonable?

Anonymous said...

they exist mainly for the maintenance of jobs and revenue to a selected group of insiders.


Its called honest graft. Crappy has been saying things like this for months.

No wonder 'Honest Joe' Crowley and 'Dirty Gary' Ackerman and 'Obie the Toby' Savinsky goes nuts over this blog.

Anonymous said...

So what is stopping them from getting on the ballot? A lack of people who signed a petition of support for their candidacy?

Is that unreasonable?


I will tell you what is unreasonable: half of all election litigation in the country (mostly challenging new signatories of aspiring office-seekers) comes from one state: New York.

Half.

Anonymous said...

They should run as write-in candidates. Don't let the incumbents run unopposed!

Anonymous said...

"So what is stopping them from getting on the ballot? A lack of people who signed a petition of support for their candidacy?"

The number of valid signatures is what's stopping them. 5% of all Dems registered in the district is a whole lot.

Don't eliminate petitions - just decrease the number.

Anonymous said...

5% IS a lot. I recently had this experience. I just became a Queens County Democratic Committee-person. I needed to collect 14 signatures from my election district. Sounds like a laughably small amount, doesn't it? Well, out of that election district, about 1/2 the homes have registered dems in them. Of those homes, many people will not be home, many peer out their curtains and then don't answer the door, even if you look friendly and nice, and some refuse to sign but don't say why, and some refuse to sign because they "don't know you." The rest, who answer the door and are willing to sign, add up to about 5% of the total. If you have a hotly contested place on the ballot, that is tougher because people can only sign one candidate's petition. They don't have to vote for that one but they can only sign for one.

Anonymous said...

Go Wills go!!! Fight the entrenched machine - it can be beat by being a vocal underdog - your community hears you - especially since I have read about you and am far from your district - good luck - keep the faith.

Odeki Osiris said...

There is almost no seat in NYC where you have to get 5% of registered dems. For assembly, the law is 5% or 500, whichever is less, so it is 500 in NYC. District leaders only need 250 because there are two per assembly district. If you can't get 500 people to sign for you, you don't have enough friends and/or organizational skills to be elected.

Other states require payment of fees to get on the ballot, which is more undemocratic and discriminatory against those with no money. There are many insurgent candidates who have no problems getting the required signatures because it is not that hard. Collecting signatures is also a great way for a candidate to meet potential voters. If a candidate is too lazy to do this, he or she should seek another line of work.

Anonymous said...

Where is Ridgewoodian when you need him.

I need to hear that ANYONE can run, you can vote them out of office if you don't like them, and people vote on the politician's record after they get a fair vetting in the press.