UPDATE: After Embarrassing Move, Golden Gets Cold Feet Challenging DiSanto
Well, Mike DiSanto is on his way to the ballot.
Marty Golden’s puppet Democratic petition challenger Bridget Riley, relative of the Riley family that donated to Golden in the past, has decided not to file specific objections on behalf of the Senator.
As you know, Atlas Shrugs in Brooklyn broke the story that Ms. Riley lived at the same residence and was a relative of Raymond Riley, Michael Allegretti’s campaign manager. Thereafter, the DiSanto campaign even sourced our website for the scoop.
Here is the update from City Hall News:
Sen. Marty Golden will not be knocking his little-known Democratic challenger in the 22nd district off the ballot anytime soon, despite a recent challenge to Democrat Mike DiSanto’s petitions, which has been linked to the Golden campaign.
On July 15th Bridget Riley, a registered Democrat and resident of Bay Ridge filed two general objections with the New York Board of Elections, challenging the validity of DiSanto’s signatures.
As of midnight on July 22 that challenge became moot, however, as Riley did not follow up her general objection with a specific objection.
This is not an uncommon theme among races this year. Of the 62 people who filed general objections to candidate’s petitions on July 15, only about 12 followed up with specs, according to Matt Graves and assistant in the candidates’ record unit at the Board of Elections. Usually, he added, this is because they didn’t realize how much work was involved in reviewing all the signatures to make sure they matched up with voter registries.
DiSanto turned in 2,100 signatures, more than 500 of which he collected personally. He said in anticipation of action like the challenge he and his team drew the names for door knocking directly from Democrats in the voter registry book published by the Board of Elections.
Upon hearing of the initial challenge, DiSanto said some quick Internet sleuthing, turned up a suspicious connection between Riley and the Golden campaign, Bridget Riley lives with Raymond J. Riley of the firm Riley and Associates. A Google query of Riley’s firm turned up Golden campaign finance disclosures, revealing a longtime political patronage of Golden, since his first race in 2002.
“I feel bad for Bridget,” DiSanto said. “She is being used as a puppet. If they wanted to challenge me, they should have had her father do it.”
Neither Riley nor Golden’s office returned a call for comment.
DiSanto said the Democratic Party in Brooklyn has not yet issued any sort of statement on his behalf, but that he would be seeking one if the challenge to his petitions was pushed further. The outrage he said has come from the people whose signatures he has devoted the past month to collecting.
“The people in my community are furious,” he said. “These people have seen me on the streets everyday. I have had half-hour conversations with many of them. I don’t know what [Marty Golden] had to be scared of to make him do this. But I won’t be intimidated. I will be on the ballot in November.”
Some emailers indicated to us that the story had gotten too much negative attention for the Senator.
“They didn’t like all the attention this story got them,” said one source, who asked not to be identified.
I should note that, contrary to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle’s reporting, we broke the story before the Albany Project had the post up (no offense, guys). Thereafter, the story was posted onto Urban Elephants and was subsequently picked up by the local media, including Courier Life and the Eagle.
Nevertheless, I’m glad that reform blogs (such as the Democratic Bay Ridge Interpol and our own Republican blog) have become a source of newsworthy commentary and discourse in the sometimes neglected coverage of these precincts of Brooklyn.
In general, the local media are doing a very good job (especially this year), and I hope they continue to do so.
We will also do what we can, as well.