Tabacco Loses Ballot Spot
February 12th, 2009
Talk about flip-flop politics.
The city’s Board of Elections removed John Tabacco today from the ballot for the City Council seat from the 49th district . The board decided that Tabacco did not have enough signatures to qualify for the Feb. 24 election.
Last Friday, the board had said that even though Tabacco did not have enough signatures, he could be on the ballot.
Upset after today’s hearing, Tabacco said he felt partisanship on the board “raped and pillaged the democratic process.”
“I have a feeling there won’t be any more hearings after this,” Tabacco said before the hearing. “At least not in this room.” This was his fourth hearing with the board in nine days.
Last week, four commissioners –- two Democrats and two Republicans, a subset of the full board of five Democrats and five Republicans — heard arguments from Tabacco’s counsel, Vincent Messina. Messina argued that although the board’s clerks found only 912 petition signatures valid -– 1,367 are needed to be on the ballot — that they had more than enough to be on the ballot. One point of contention was whether names that were printed, as opposed to be signed in cursive, should qualify. The four commissioners split 2-2, which kept Tabacco’s candidacy alive.
Then on Tuesday, the entire board met and discussed Tabacco’s use of a star as a symbol in the special non-partisan election. Despite the controversy over whether the star resembled the New York Democratic Party and violated the rules of a non-partisan race, the board allowed Tabacco to once again remain on the ballot.
But according to Messina, after he and Tabacco left the hearing Tuesday, the board decided to revisit the signature issue.
Today, another set of four commissioners met to discuss Tabacco’s signatures. This time, they decided three in favor and one abstention, to remove Tabacco from the ballot for not having enough signatures. The board conceded that it would not review the case again.
“We will definitely be going to court,” Tabacco said. “There is no doubt in my mind that we have enough signatures.”By Khadijah Rentas on February 12, 2009, 1:45 pm
In category: Electoral Politics, Governing | No Comments »