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The Best of Atlas: Atlas Contributors Choose their Favorite Posts of 2009 – Hank Rearden

December 28, 2009

Well, I must say, I like the two choices my colleagues Midas Mulligan and Francisco D’Anconia have made so far for their favorite posts.

For my favorite post, I’m going to harken back to the very beginning of Atlas. Jon Galt originaly discussed how “Patronage and Nepotism are Alive and Well in the Brooklyn Republican Party” in one of our first posts. Looking back, I find his warnings about conflicts of interest in our party to be particularly astute. As we enter the new year, conflicts of interest must be prevented and monitored at all costs to protect against Democratic criticism. I report my colleague’s story as a reminder of that fact:

***

In an earlier post, we reviewed the role of the Wilson Pakula and how it has been used to diminish the Republican Party’s competitiveness in Brooklyn.  A reader e-mailed us and pointed out an interesting pattern that we felt required some research.  This reader mentioned that a good number of the Brooklyn Republican Party’s District Leadership consists of employees of the Board of Elections.

The reader points out the grave potential for conflicts of interest.  Here’s the argument in general. Section 3-300 of New York State Election Law states that every employee of the Board of Elections can be appointed and removed at the pleasure of the Board.  According to Section 3-200 and 3-204 of New York State Election Law, the commissioners that comprise the Board of Elections in New York City are appointed by the New York City Council upon the recommendation of the Democratic and Republican Party Chairs of each borough.

Therefore, if Board employees want to keep their jobs, activism within their own party could put them on the fast track to the unemployment line, particularly if it puts them in conflict with the party chair who appointed the commissioners who serve on the Board of Elections and are responsible for their appointment and removal.

It does appear that a party chair can exercise an inordinate amount of control over the decisions of any party leader who also works at the Board of Elections.  On the flipside, using a District Leadership position to obtain a job at the Board of Election for themselves or a relative, by exercising the leverage that it is possible to affect the outcome of a County Chair election, for instance, is equally an abuse of party office.

But before examining the principle of the matter any further, let us ascertain how many District Leaders and/or family members in the Brooklyn Republican Party are employees of the Board of Elections.

Out of respect for the general privacy of those concerned, we will just refer you to the Brooklyn Republican Party’s website, Board of Elections Voter Data, and See Through NY if you wish to verify this information for yourself.

Here’s the breakdown from what we can discover so far:

  • 7 of Brooklyn’s 20 Assembly Districts are represented by one or more District Leaders who have an employment connection to the Board of Elections, including
    • A District Leader and their spouse who reside at the same address
    • The son of a District Leader, who resides at the same address as the District Leader
  • In one Assembly District, a colleague at the Board of Elections of one Female District Leader candidate filed objections against the petitions of the incumbent Male District Leader and her primary opponent. One must wonder, then, if this was done with the consent of party chairman Craig Eaton, since wouldn’t it be a no-no for a Board employee to challenge a District Leader that’s favored by the chairman?
  • One of these districts also happens to be one of the districts where a Wilson Pakula is repeatedly given to the Democratic State Assembly Member to run on the Republican line.  Could there be a deal that is arranged by the party chairman that is successfully executed through the appropriate influence he exercises on a District Leader’s full time job?

If the Republican Party is going to stand any chance of making progress anywhere in Brooklyn, but especially in the northern, middle and eastern portions of Brooklyn, the District Leadership, which also serves as the almost omnipotent Executive Committee of the party, must be free of any conflict of interest that will unethically affect their actions and votes.  Likewise, they must also be wary of abusing their position and their influence in the election of county officers for pecuniary or personal gain.

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10 Comments
  1. GOP Dove permalink
    December 28, 2009 2:24 am

    I was hoping Marty Golden and Craig Eaton would extend an olive branch to the dissidents in our party. Peace is so needed in the Brooklyn GOP. But so far, my hopes have run dry. It’s so sad that we’re going into the new year a fractured party because they haven’t sought reconciliation.

    I am going to pray for reform and unity in our party.

  2. Grimm State of Affairs permalink
    December 28, 2009 12:32 pm

    How true this has turned out to be!

  3. Stephanie permalink
    December 28, 2009 6:21 pm

    http://www.urbanelephants.com/index.php/component/content/article/64/2020-gene-berardelli-wrote-qshrug-off-atlasq.html

    “These are the times that try men’s souls.”

    I often agree with the article writers/bloggerson Atlas Shrugs in Brooklyn, but not with every commentator.

    I posted Gene’s point of view and outlook on UE’s in order to keep different opinions expressed openly and for “free speech” purposes too. Moreover, to his credit, Gene’s article is articulate and reasonable. Gene and others with similar opinions have a right to be heard just like the Atlas Reformers do.

    2010 does not look too promising in Brooklyn for the GOP. There is much rancor and enmity. I see a divided, fragmented Brooklyn GOP.

    quote above by Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

  4. Curious Observer permalink
    December 28, 2009 10:26 pm

    Speaking of Capano, he raised $134,000 for his campaign. However, that Russell Gallo received no compensation as a campaign manager. Capano lost. I guess the saying is true: you get what you pay for.

  5. The Empire Shrugs Back permalink
    December 29, 2009 12:29 am

    Darth Eaton stirs up the Anti-Atlas Stormtroopers…

    • Mary Gallo permalink
      December 29, 2009 2:11 pm

      I was there LOL

      Don’t they sound nice!

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