Fans of offbeat election options can rejoice. There emerges on the November ballot an entity – a political microbrewery, perhaps -- called the Sapient Party. Nassau lawyer Steven Cohn is its candidate for governor, and Bobby K. Kalotee, a longtime Cohn ally and former chairman of the county’s Independence Party, is his candidate for lieutenant governor.
Kalotee, known for many years as Bobby Kumar before formally adopting his traditional family name, also is chairman of this party called Sapient, which means wise -- as in Homo sapiens, which means "wise man." It is officially based on West Old Country Road in Hicksville.
Cohn, for his part, attempted a minor-party run for governor four years ago under the title of the Tea Party, but was ruled off the ballot after failing to file petitions for a running mate as required. Kalotee filled the lieutenant governor slot after the candidate filed initially, Kendy Guzman, had petitions filed on her behalf but declined.
Kalotee said Wednesday that he was approached by a group of people “because I was involved in the political process” before, many of them Latinos, African-Americans and others “who feel they are not getting represented by any major party.” He boasted of submitting nearly 100,000 petition signatures to get the party and its candidates on the ballot.
In 2011, Kalotee was ousted as county Independence chairman at the behest of state chairman Frank MacKay. The previous September, Gary Melius, a MacKay ally, tried unsuccessfully to oust Kalotee in a party primary for state committee member.
It was in October 2001 that Kumar, then 44, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge in the faking of his own kidnapping after a mysterious 48-hour disappearance. He agreed to compensate authorities more than $17,000 for time lost investigating the case. He also pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct at that time.
The party on its website, linked here, lists among its top principles:
FLAT TAX FOR ALL
CLEAN GREEN ENVIRONMENT