Artvoice: Buffalo's #1 Newsweekly
Home Blogs Web Features Calendar Listings Artvoice TV Real Estate Classifieds Contact

Gillian Brown v. Board of Elections

In this week’s column, I wrote a little about the travails of Gillian Brown, a candidate for Buffalo City Court who was kicked off the ballot after the commissioners of the Erie County Board of Elections disqualified nearly a third of the signatures on his nominating petition. I think his case illustrates the manner in which the petitioning process offers the established parties a tool for shutting out candidates they haven’t sanctioned.

Here’s Brown’s summary of why his signatures should be reinstated and he should be allowed on the ballot in next month’s Democratic primary, which he filed in New York State Supreme Court on August 16. In addition to the two commissioners of the BOE, Brown names Kate M. Bartolotta in the order to show cause. Bartolotta, who works for Democratic Party headquarters, filed the objections to Brown’s petition, but she is just a surrogate. The true objector is an incumbent who is worried that Brown might edge him out: Judge David Manz.


  • Peter A Reese

    Is the author of this post involved in Mr. Brown’s campaign? If so, this should be disclosed.

  • Sadly, Pete Reese’s comment now makes no sense, because it’s antecedent has been suspended. The comment to which Reese refers contained a very serious allegation that could affect the professional careers of both the accused and the accusers, and the poster failed to respond to two efforts to provide corroborating information. The attorney for Katie M. Bartolotta, whose objections included the allegation to which the comment referred, also has yet to provide AV with corroborating evidence. When we have more to report on, and if the poster responds to our inquiries, we will address the accusation. In the meantime, the post is suspended but not deleted.

  • Peter A Reese

    Hey Geoff, get off your high horse. Someone told me you circulated designating petitions for Gillian. True or False? Remember I can check if I have the energy.

  • Geoff kelly

    Someone told you? You can do better than that, Pete. My partner circulated petitions for Brown (free of fraud, I believe) and I signed. I’d have signed for other candidates too, including some incumbents, but in my neighborhood the petition passers asked you to sign for all four incumbents on a slate. That’s another can of worms.

    It’s not about whether Brown gets on the ballot. It’s about the mechanisms that folks use to keep people off the ballot.

    Ostrowski, chime in!

  • Peter A Reese

    Geoff: Glad to see you finally coming clean. I know it makes you feel better. I will have my information source executed.

    If you think ballot access is a PIA today, you should have seen what it was like in the 1980s. Not only were the rules stacked against non-endorsed challengers, but the Bd of Elections was actively practicing dirty tricks. FI, they would tell you you needed a cover sheet, give you one to use, and then throw you off because the cover they gave you was defective. See Golata v Mahoney. Mohr and Ward are frigging saints compared to their predecessors.

    Full disclosure: My wife and I signed the Brown petition when asked by a neighbor and we are supporting Diane Wray (see my lawn sign). We didn’t circulate the HQ 4 banger petition. I attended a Manz fundraiser. I like Russell, but wish Jeremy Jacobs didn’t have a prominent place on his fundraising team. I wouldn’t know Sue Egan if I ran her over.

  • Geoff kelly

    Pete: I was in your neighborhood last night. I could tell it was classy because all the lawn signs were for judges.