New York Assemblymember J. Gary Pretlow is a Hypocrite

Ballot Access News: New York Bill to Double Vote Requirement for “Party” Status

New York Assemblymember J. Gary Pretlow (D-Mt. Vernon) has introduced A2681, to change the definition of “political party” from a group that polled 50,000 votes for Governor, to a group that polled 100,000 votes for Governor. Assemblymember Pretlow has been in the legislature since 1992 and is a member of the Puerto Rican and Black Caucus.

The New York definition of “political party” is already constitutionally suspect. New York and Indiana are the only states in which it is impossible for a group to attain status as a “political party” during presidential election years. Also, New York is one of eleven states in which it is impossible for a group to transform itself into a qualified party in advance of any particular election.

You would think that a member of the Puerto Rican and Black Caucus would realize that third parties have consistently been the champion of minority rights.  Unlike, the Democrat and Republican Parties, the Green Party supports Reparations, D.C. Statehood and Puerto Rican independence.

Furthermore, there are only five ballot qualified parties in NY so the current law does not create ballot crowding.  On the other hand the law that only allows the Governor, State Senate, and Assemblymembers to run on as many third party lines as possible while the everyone else is relagated to 1 third party line is more responsible for ballot crowding.

Also,  of the 5 ballot qualified parties only 2 —  the Democrats and Republicans — run their own candidates.  The Working Families Party, Conservative Party and Independence Parties generally just cross-endorse other candidates, though they try to pretend there is a difference.  The oddest occurrence of this was the Working Families Party line that voting for pro-war Governor candidate Spitzer and pro-war US Senate candidate Clinton on the Democratic line was a pro-war vote, but voting for them on the Working Families line was an anti-war vote.  Who would fall for this?  Unfortunately, my hero Pete Seeger did.  :(

After I’ve insulted his party, I have to give a hat tip to Independence Party chair Frank McKay for predicting if the Democrats took over state government they would try to squeeze out the the third parties.

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