Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics



Letter to the Editor: On Sal Albanese

Re: "Gotham Votes: Mayoral Candidate Sal Albanese Campaigns as Outsider” – September 6, 2013

We are writing in response to your recent article criticizing the League of Women Voters and WABC-TV for not including Sal Albanese in a televised mayoral debate.

The League of Women Voters of the City of New York has partnered with WABCV-TV and other news media over the years to provide voters with the opportunity to learn about the qualifications and positions of candidates who are serious contenders for city office. These debates have always been structured around criteria which are fair and equitable.

Since there are often more candidates for an office than can reasonably be accommodated in a one hour debate, we believe the voters benefit most when they can hear from candidates who have a possibility of being elected. Our long-standing criteria require candidates to demonstrate significant voter interest and financial support. Voter interest is determined by the data collected by at least two reliable polls. The financial support criteria are based on the candidate's meeting the minimum fund-raising requirement as established by the Campaign Finance Board for participating candidates. The CFB fund-raising threshold is used as a guideline whether or not the candidate is participating in the Campaign Finance Program. Self-financed candidates have never been denied participation in these debates if they meet the criteria. Unfortunately, Mr. Albanese’s campaign did not meet our criteria.

Mary Jenkins and Mary Lou Urban, co-presidents

League of Women Voters of the City of New York