Common Sense: Above the law

The New York City Board of Elections voted five to three to remove Bill de Blasio from the Working Families Party line as a result of the party failing to follow basic nominating rules outlined in state law.

The five votes represent a plurality; a majority consisting of six votes is needed. Therefore, his removal failed. The five Republicans voted to remove, three Democrats voted no and two Democrats abstained. There was a Board of Elections memo on law indicating that the mayor should be removed from the line.

The Daily News called the Democratic votes against removal a fix in an editorial because New York State law and a Court of Appeals decision, as argued in writing by the board counsel, the Republican commissioners and an attorney appearing before the board, dictated that DeBlasio should be removed.

The Daily News stated bluntly that the Democratic commissioners did not follow the law. They further made the point that this was flatly wrong.

Political parties play a key role in electing lawmakers. The law referenced by the Daily News was approved by a Democratic-controlled Assembly.  Beyond being blatantly wrong to ignore the law, it is ironic for representatives of a political party holding semi-judicial positions to ignore a law that the legislators of their party from their county approved. Of course, if you feel your role is just to do what you are told in disregard of the law you are right on point.

Despite claims of reform in the political process, backroom deals continue to play a key role. Bill de Blasio’s continued appearance on the Working Families Party line is a sad example of such a deal that managed to rise above the law.


You have to give Lucretia Regina-Potter credit. She never gives up. This year, she has filed petitions to run in the Republican City Council primary. It is approximately the ninth time she has run for office in the past 12 years.

She has never gotten more than 35 percent in any election for public office and she usually does noticeably worse. In fact, she only received something like 10 percent in a Conservative Party primary she waged two years ago.   

She is not in the public finance system — in which Liam McCabe and John Quaglione, two of her Republican primary opponents, maxed out at $95,000 — and has raised no money.  She has angered the official GOP leadership to the point that she is being primaried for her party leadership post.

A reasonable argument can be made that, as the result of her disruptive activities, she is the Democratic Party’s secret weapon. Yet she does not go away.

Perennial candidates like Regina-Potter have every right to run. The Republican primary voters also have every right to reject these cynical efforts to dissuade Republican voters away from the serious contenders in the Republican primary.

I doubt Lucretia Regina-Potter will ever go away. It is not the style of these types of politicians. Even carrying the current title of party leader in an Assembly district, she is all about herself – not about the party. She knows of no one better than herself ever to run for any public office.  

I can predict her outcome in the September 12 Republican primary. There is intense interest by Republican voters in this primary and the interest is not with her. And I can predict that next year she will likely be running for some other office in a primary because that is what she does. And she will lose once again because that is what the voters want.

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