Another election season, another case study into the perversions of New York law that favor party insiders and deprive voters of real choice. As always, the problem involves minor parties that have few members or no real ideology other than fleecing taxpayers.
These minor parties with purposeful sounding names, such as Reform or Independence, often trade their nominations of major party candidates for jobs or other patronage. Ideology is usually not a determining factor. In the case of judicial endorsements, however, candidates do not even need special permission of the party bosses to ballot hop.
Suffolk County Republicans are the latest offenders. They circulated nominating petitions to get their judicial candidates on the ballot lines of the Green, Reform and Women’s Equality parties. Now, the Greens are complaining their line was hijacked. In defense, Suffolk GOP leader John Jay LaValle said he was forced to do it because the Conservative and Independence party leaders were aligned with the Democrats in mega line-trading deals. So he needed to find a few free ballot lines for his folks.
So now voters will have the strange-bedfellows option of choosing from among judicial candidates on Democratic, Conservative and Independence ballot lines or the Republican, Green and Reform lines.
Make a simple fix. One candidate, one party, one ballot line. Stand for something or get out of politics.