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Letter: Green Party avoids fusion ballots

A number of Newsday articles and editorials have shed light on New York's system of fusion and cross-party endorsements ["Governor's race and Potemkin politics," Opinion, Oct. 1].

The Green Party in Nassau County is again experiencing the evils of this system. Our rules prohibit endorsing members of the two major corporate parties. For the 7th Senate District, a duly registered Green, Cassandra Lems, stepped forward to protect our hard-earned ballot line.

In the Sept. 9 primary election, Lems won a majority of the votes cast at the polls. However, absentee ballots solicited by a Democratic Party operative working for candidate Adam Haber overcame her, 13 votes to 10.

The Green Party is an independent party with its own values. Our gubernatorial candidate, Howie Hawkins, is a true alternative.

To have either the Democrats or Republicans represent us by appearing on our ballot line is a sham and confusing to voters. We believe that "fusion" is "confusion" and that voters in the 7th Senate District deserve a real choice!

Jim Brown, Island Park

Editor's note: The writer is the chairman of the Green Party of Nassau County.

Lack of Dem support for King challenger

Newsday dropped the ball in its article on the 2nd Congressional District race ["King vs. Maher vs. Stevenson," News, Oct. 7].

With Election Day coming up, I'd like to see side-by-side responses from the candidates on serious issues confronting the nation: climate change, instability in the Middle East, growing income inequality, long-term unemployment, health insurance, gun violence, tax reform, immigration reform. What we got instead was a piece offering fatuous opinions by political insiders lauding Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford).

The so-called Democratic leaders in both counties have provided zero support to their congressional candidate, but that doesn't represent how the rest of us feel.

Suffolk County Democratic Party chairman Rich Schaffer said, "We don't view this race as competitive." How is it that Schaffer could run for supervisor in Babylon on the Democratic, Independence, Conservative and Working Families lines, but somehow fail to obtain the Working Families line on this year's ballot for his congressional candidate -- one of the only Democrats in the state without that line?

And if Nassau Democratic leader Jay Jacobs could transfer $90,000 of party funds to a State Senate candidate who ended up quitting his race after being accused of fraud, why didn't Jacobs provide some financial support to his congressional candidate?

Schaffer said that Democrat Pat Maher was the only one to step forward against King. That statement is an indictment of both Schaffer's and Jacobs' inadequate leadership, and is symptomatic of all that is wrong with the current political system.

James J. McDonald, Deer Park

Editor's note: The writer ran for State Senate as a Democrat in 2006.

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