Ballot Access & Fusion: Keeping New York Corrupt
by Alan Bedenko (@BuffaloPundit) - posted 6:56 am, July 10, 2014
It’s petition day throughout New York State, and we’ll learn soon enough that Governor Cuomo will have a primary challenge from the left, and that locally, the Democratic race for the 63rd Senate District (Tim Kennedy, incumbent) is going to be especially fun, as will the Republican challenge to Mark Grisanti, as perennial party-switching candidate Rus Thompson clumsily attempts to manipulate the corrupt fusion system to try and oust the sane guy.
But it’s not only electoral fusion that’s corrupt and awful, so is the petition process itself. It’s hypercomplicated and deliberately designed to be a minefield for the unwary. It’s not only time to abolish the electoral fusion system and shut down the Wilson Pakulas and backroom deals, but also to simplify the ballot access system to make it easier for candidates to run. The rules for petitioning should be simplified and written in plain English, and there should be an alternative whereby a candidate simply pays a fee (set on a sliding scale, depending on the scope of the office). Hey, if the state needs another source of revenue, there you go.
As for SD-60, where Grisanti will possibly face off with Rus Thompson, here’s the entire campaign in a nutshell. I don’t know about you, but I’d choose the calm, professional man in the suit over the wildman in a sweatshirt.