Good afternoon. Today’s points:
- The CD3 saga goes on
- Ballot of eight lines but only two choices
- CD1 game gets a referee
The CD3 beat goes on
Republican Jack Martins is trying to get some ballast in the rocky 3rd Congressional District race by continuing his legal effort to push the vote to December.
He already lost a fight to keep GOP challenger Philip Pidot off the ballot. A primary between the two will be held on Oct. 6. That’s why Martins is asking a federal appeals court to expedite the review of a ruling Tuesday that said the election should be held Nov. 8 even if it means a quicker turnaround for military ballots than the standard 45 days.
Martins told The Point that a GOP primary forces him to take more conservative positions. “It changes the dynamic,” he said, adding that he has to tack to the right for the more conservative parts of the district such as Smithtown. “I can’t risk alienating them for the general election,” he said.
Martins is confident he will beat Pidot, but is also worried that outside groups supporting Democrat Tom Suozzi will spend advertising money in the primary to bludgeon him as being too conservative. That’s a label that could hurt down-ballot GOP candidates on Election Day.
How much do election lawyers make?
Voters in the State Senate’s 5th and 8th districts could potentially have as many as eight options when deciding which box to check in each of those races. But they’ll only have two choices because all those different party lines are ploys designed to sway voters over to one of the two major-party candidates.
In the 5th District, the incumbent is Sen. Carl Marcellino, a longtime Republican. But if his petitions all hold up, he also will be identified on the ballot as the representative of the Conservative Party, Independence Party, Reform Party, and Tax Revolt Party. His opponent, Democrat James Gaughran, is also looking for votes on the Working Families Party and Women’s Equality Party lines.
In the 8th District, Republican incumbent Michael Venditto is also looking to put his name on the Conservative, Independence, Reform and Tax Revolt lines, while challenger and Democrat John Brooks wants his name on the Working Families and Women’s Equality lines as well.
The better-known minor political parties, Conservative and Independence, for example, are run on Long Island as businesses that essentially trade their ballot lines to Republican and Democratic candidates in return for plum jobs and influence.
But faux parties like Tax Revolt and Women’s Equality don’t even pretend to have a political structure or purpose other than fooling voters.
Point of Fact
Rival gets it wrong about Zeldin
Politifact New York, a fact-checking website, has swooped in to referee the 1st CD fight between Anna Throne-Holst and Rep. Lee Zeldin over his attendance record as a member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
Their conclusion: Throne-Holst, and her helpers at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, got it wrong.
The DCCC’s robocall in August told voters that “Congressman Lee Zeldin likes to talk about working for veterans, but he skipped two-thirds of veterans committee hearings in Congress.” The DCCC said he attended just 20 of 56 hearings. Zeldin’s office said he attended 36.
Official hearing transcripts, which include attendance records, take more than a year to produce. The most recent available to Politifact New York was June 10, 2015. So the fact-checker’s staff watched webcasts of the meetings and found that Zeldin was heard voting or seen in five of the hearings the DCCC charged him with missing.
Not surprisingly, the Zeldin campaign issued a statement accusing Throne-Holst of “a gross lack of honesty.”
Lest you thought that was the end of the argument, Throne-Holst’s campaign spun the numbers once again, claiming Wednesday that Zeldin missed half the hearings, which it said is “unacceptable.”
In discussing the move for council districts in Babylon on Tuesday we said Rich Schaffer, the town supervisor and head of the county Democratic Party, was also the town party chair. Peter Casserly has that title.