Monday, July 21, 2014

Tell us something we don't know

From The Forum:

As many political experts have pointed out, the questions surrounding the long-standing dominance and subsequent effects of party politics have never been easy to answer – perhaps because they are as varied and complex as Queens itself.

Some in the borough contended that dominant parties make it more difficult for political neophytes to enter the fray while others said that the traditional political machines have made strides to better represent Queens’ diverse and ever-growing population.

“Newcomers to politics often find it challenging to mount competitive campaigns for state elections due to the difficulty of raising funds without institutional support,” said Rachael Fauss, director of public policy for Citizens Union (CU). “The backing of the party continues to play a large role in elections, often making or breaking campaigns for office. And absent reforms to the state’s campaign finance system, voters will continue to have few choices at the polls.”

In 2011, a 22-year-old Queens student’s quest to run as an independent for retiring Assemblywoman Nettie Mayersohn’s seat was dashed when the city’s board of elections ruled that a technicality invalidated more than 1,500 signatures the student had collected. The party nomination was ultimately given to Michael Simanowitz, a former aide to Mayersohn.

In fact, statistics from CU underscored that when comparing state elections with city elections, voters have fewer choices, due to the strength of the city’s public matching system.

Some of the troubling stats showed that 21 percent of all state legislative contests in New York City went uncontested in both the primary and general elections in four cycles between 2006 and 2012 while only 8 percent of races were uncontested for the City Council during the three cycles between 2005 and 2013.

And, in primaries with incumbents, fewer than 20 percent of state legislative primaries in the city had three or more candidates from 2006 to 2012, while 59 percent of city council primaries had three or more candidates from 2005 to 2013.


georgetheatheist said...

1500 names knocked off?!?! How does one avoid getting bumped off via ballot "technicalities"? You've got to cross the "t's" and dot the "i's" in a certain manner? Print instead of write? Spell out street addresses without abbreviations? Et cetera. Is there a primer for future potential candidate?

georgetheatheist said...

Thanks for that info. "Overly complicated"? Still seems complicated though to me. I still wonder why the 22-year old Mayersohn contender had 1500 signatures declared invalid.

Anonymous said...

NYC's Democrat Party domination has done wonders for it for the last 75 years, similar to Detroit, Philly and Chicago!

georgetheatheist said...

Thanks again. See readers? The Queens Crap blog site is s-o-o-o educational!

But really, Jon Torodash, "gathering" signatures in this digital age is s-o-o-o analog, no? Does one have to be a citizen to register or will that new municipal ID card suffice?


Mike Francesa said...

Somehow I find it unlikely that the government would actually check one signature let alone 1500 when they barely do any work in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Jon some of the strongest voices against voter ID are supportive of a municipal ID at the same time. They are also concerned that the NYC ID will be seen as an illegal immigrant card by many. So have NYC start a voter ID program, one where the NYC ID is the ID used to vote. On the back end you could validate voter eligibility, it would be a simple matter of seeing if the ID on a ballot or petition was eligible in the district, or to vote at all, and if not it would be discarded.

Anonymous said...

Many businesses used to give time off to employees for voting. Today, as the 8 hour workday has bitten the dust, so has time off for civic duty. Queens is such a mess because of the long commutes on top of long workdays leaving little time to devote to civic duty, even if one understood one had a civic duty, which is a cultural problem.