ACCORDING TO PLAN

It’s a bit early to start thinking about golf, but Earl Woods’ advice to his toddler son might be relevant to executive succession politics these days.

“My father taught me the game from the flag back,” Tiger Woods told an interviewer recently. What the late Earl Woods was impressing on his prodigy son was that it’s all about results. 

The shadowy figures who are manipulating the executive-successor process have had their eyes firmly focused on the flag for at least several months. The goal, now becoming obvious, is to install a Democratic executive of their choice with the least damage to Hein’s reputation. Chief of staff Adele Reiter, Hein’s designated fill-in until the end of the year, the Sphinx behind the throne, will assure only positives will emit on that legacy.. 

The needle moved forward with this week’s revelations that it is now too late for a special election primary. Party leaders will nominate candidates if a special is called. 

 A special election can be called if Hein vacates his office at least 180 days before the Nov. 5  general election. which comes out to May 8.

Hein would be foolish to resign until he is confirmed by the state senate. A special election requires 90 days lead time That means Hein has to resign and the governor call for a special election no later than May 7 (181 days from Nov. 5) 

But do the powers that be, which include our micro-manager governor, really want to risk exposing their hand-picked nominee to a special election?

I don’t think so, what with a broad field of eager candidates on fast-track and confident of almost certain victory (with the Democratic nomination) in November. 

A similar scenario played out in last year’s congressional elections. At special election, in limited voting, the anointed one could easily finish second (yikes! or worse, Better to eliminate this unpredictable melee and go to convention in June with party endorsement eminently manageable. Of course, there could be a primary after that, but at least this wheat would separated wheat from chaff, a clearer path to the prize. 

What this comes down to is that upwards of 45,000 registered Ulster Democrats will have no voice in choosing between perhaps half a dozen credible candidates until, maybe, next summer when for all intents and purposes, the die will have been cast.

Face it folks, party bosses have taken over our democracy for their own selfish reasons and nobody seems to care. Fore!

Meanwhile, the wheels role forward. According to Albany sources, the state senate will begin hearings on Cuomo’s nominees (including Hein) sometime next week. Given the time sensitivity of the Hein appointment, he might move up the chart, Once confirmed, Hein is free to resign as executive after which his appointed successor (Reiter) sets the special election date. Each committee has seven days to call nominating conventions. Democrats have more bodies owing to an embarrassment of vacancies in the moribund Republican county committee, but in no case will 300 or more delegates be making this decision. Only convention nominees will face each other in a special election.

Or will they? There’s still time to manipulate this process, which is to deny the public a voice. I’m not convinced that it is in the interest of the manipulators to expose their candidate to a short-sprint, low turnout  special election where anybody with 25 percent of the vote can win. 

2 thoughts on “ACCORDING TO PLAN

  1. The 180 days has nothing to do with a primary election. If the County Executive resigns more than 180 days before the general election there will be a special election within 90 days of his resignation. It is that 90 day period that does not allow time for a primary election for the special election. 30 days after the results of the special election is certified whoever wins that special election will serve out the current term which ends Dec. 31 2019. If the New York State Legislature passes the electoral reform package they are considering on Monday there will be a primary election in June.

  2. As someone who is elected as a Democratic Committee member I canvass my district of 800 + registered voters at least three times a year. I door knock and speak to the constituents I represent in the 4th election district in New Paltz, hear their opinions and provide information to them on many aspects of elections. The 45,000 voters you cite, Mr. Reynolds, do indeed have a voice — many voices because they are represented by committee people like me throughout the county. The votes I cast in the special election for County Executive are cast for those I represent to the best of my ability. What’s more the votes I cast are in proportion on the number of voters in my district.The public has a voice through elected representatives at a very local level, just as we do on the state and federal levels, and we are being called on to make an important choice. You are, of course, entitled to your opinion. But there are facts of this matter that also must be made clear because they greatly contradict the premise of your opinion that voters are being excluded.
    Jane Schanberg, Vice Chair, New Paltz Democratic Committee.

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