Credit Democratic operative Andy Zweben and Democratic nominee Mark Halwick with zealousness in applying the letter of a ludicrous law for political gain. May they suffer the righteous indignation of friends and neighbors.
Down in Rochester, the fun never stops, even after death, it seems.
The story. Alice Santosky, 81, was listed among the signers on Republican nominating petitions for incumbent Terry Bernardo last month. Except Alice Santosky died in March. Hyping the controversy, Santosky’s signature was witnessed by Board of Elections staffer and experienced pol Pattie Jacobsen, who circulated petitions on behalf of Bernardo.
Bernardo again faces challenger Manuela Michailescu, a town board member, in a Republican primary on September 13.
So, who was this A. Santosky, an enrolled Republican, who signed Bernardo’s petition? The legitimate one was dead.
Explanations, mostly lame, vary. There were, according to town GOP chairman Carl Chipman, three people named “A. Santosky” listed for that household, one a daughter of the deceased, the other a daughter-in-law. But Jacobsen, a long-time political operative from Gardiner, should have noticed that both were listed on the petition as non-enrolled voters. Only party members can sign nominating petitions.
Where this goes, nobody knows. The signature was disallowed, but the Michailescu team hints broadly at calling for a criminal investigation. DA Holley Carnright, a Republican, has demonstrated repeatedly that these kinds of small potatoes don’t rise to his level of concern. Maybe for once, he ought to.
Then came Sue
Just in time for next Tuesday’s New Paltz Democratic caucus, county Legislator Sue Zimet has dropped the guise of running for re-election. Instead, she says she’ll challenge incumbent Toni Hokanson for town supervisor.