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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 17539
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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Re: New York State Election Law I was a Democratic candidate

Customer Question

Re: New York State Election Law
I was a Democratic candidate in the recent nominating process to fill the 65th AD Assembly seat vacated upon the November 2015 criminal conviction of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (JohnBALforAssemblyman.com). The Special Election, unless challenged in court, will be held April 19, 2016. I will run in the September 2016 Primary. Because Silver was one of the "three men in a room" that controlled NYS for decades, there has been considerable media attention.
In protest of the undemocratic nominating process, I withdrew my candidacy. The nominating process was conducted by the New York County Democratic Committee (aka Manhattan Democratic Party). The NYCDC, neither on its website nor publically, notified 65th AD constituents that it was seeking a replacement for Silver.
The NYCDC refused to provide me with the nominating process and withheld the contact information for the County Committee Members until months after it was available to other candidates. Also, the NYCDC refused to provide me with the authority for appointing 40 unelected persons as County Committee Members with nomination voting ability to traditionally elected County Committee Member seats. The NYCDC’s Ethics Committee and Law Committee have not responded to my complaints.
The nominating process concluded on February 7, 2016 when County Committee Members, by weighted vote, selected Alice Cancel, the wife of John Quinn, as the nominee. The NYCDC referred me to Quinn as the County Committee Member screening candidates. Quinn kept it a secret that his wife was an unannounced candidate and tried to discourage my candidacy by claiming it was an underpaid, frustrating, and unfulfilling job. He also stated that, like a past candidate in the Gramercy Park district, I might get a heart attack from campaigning.
My concern is that this process has set a precedent for future undemocratic nominating processes. Fair Campaign Code Section 6201.1(b) states: Political practices involving subversion or undermining of political parties or the electoral process including, but not limited to . . ." (none of my specific complaints are listed therein but may be applicable to "undermining the electoral process").
Would Fair Campaign Code Section 6201.1(b) give me standing to challenge the nominating process? What other sections of the Election Law would help me? I would appreciate your advice.
John ***
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 9 months ago.

Would Fair Campaign Code Section 6201.1(b) give me standing to challenge the nominating process?

Response 1: Yes, because you were adversely affected by the decision made. In one, you were discouraged from running for the office by the person who knew that his wife was under consideration for the same post.

What other sections of the Election Law would help me? I would appreciate your advice.

Response 2: I did not see any other subsection of the Fair Campaign Code that is relevant to your case. As you know, you cannot pursue the matter directly. You must start by filing your complaint with State Board of Elections. Then the State Board of Elections would review your complaint to see if a case can be filed. See Title 9 of New York Codes, Rules and Regulations Section 6201.3 (9 CRR-NY 6201.3).

As for New York Election law, I did not see any provision there that is pertinent to your case.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Phillips, Esq.:
Thank you for your response. Does your practice include Election Law?
As suggested in my question to you, I'm familiar with the provisions of the Fair Campaign Code. Are there other applicable Election Law statutes? Also, please provide applicable case law citations.
Thanks again,
John ***
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 9 months ago.

I did not see any other applicable Election Law statutes. So, I will opt out and give another Attorney the opportunity to further assist you.

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