Thursday, August 17, 2006

Our Readers Respond...

Dear Editor:

After reading Richard Blassberg’s “Pirro’s Internet Sex ‘Stink’” in the August 10th issue of The Westchester Guardian, all I can say is congratulations to the Appellate Division, Second Department, of the State Supreme Court for their decision. They gave Jeanine Pirro a much-needed slap across the face or, as Mr. Blassberg put it in his article, they “effectively pulled the rug” from under her, “literally tossing her self-promotional career, together with her quest for the State’s Attorney General’s Office, into the wastebasket.” We certainly don’t
need her in that job!

Maybe when we next see Jeanine Pirro she will be on trial for the abuses she allegedly committed while Westchester District Attorney. It’s too bad, though, she can’t be tried for tax fraud, as her husband was,
since the statue of limitations has run out. But then, if the IRS was smart, they’d audit their returns for the past few years. Maybe there’ll be some more surprises!

It’s interesting to note that Jeanine Pirro was my criminal law instructor when I attended the Paralegal Studies Program at Mercy College in the early ‘80s. Even though she was only my instructor for a few weeks, her professionalism and expertise gained my respect. I guess it’s true what they say - first impressions can be very misleading.

Name Withheld

In Our Opinion...

We are calling upon the United States Department of Justice to provide monitors and U.S. Marshals for the upcoming election for State Senate in the 35th Senatorial District, to insure a fair and totally honest outcome. After all, if citizens cannot be absolutely certain that the electoral process, as guaranteed by the Constitution, is alive and well, and uncorrupted, there can be no certainty that any of their Constitutional Rights are guaranteed. The 35th District is comprised of most of the City of Yonkers, and the towns of Greenburgh and Mount Pleasant.

At this time, we are not saying that either Nick Spano or Andrea Stewart-Cousins, or any persons associated with their campaigns, engaged in any unlawful practices before, during, or following their contest in 2004, an election that produced the longest disputed result in New York State history. Nevertheless, there can be no ignoring of the fact that on the first canvass of results, on Election Night, 23 voting machines, all in Yonkers, were all misread in favor of one candidate, Nick Spano, to the tune of 1,672 votes that he never received.

The mathematical odds of such an occurrence resulting from mere random chance are 8,388,608 to 1.

Clearly, both Spano, and Stewart-Cousins should welcome such monitoring by the Justice Department if, for no other reason, to avoid the cloud of suspicion that hung over their last ‘go at it.’ Surely, the victor will want to be perceived as having been elected fairly, and squarely. And, given their last marathon debacle, only a sufficient number of monitors and marshals can restore the public’s confidence in the process, especially in light of recent accusations against the Bush administration’s perceived interference with, and influence over, the Justice Department’s handling of alleged serious election fraud issues in Florida, Ohio, Alabama, and elsewhere following the elections of 2000 and 2004.

Specifically, monitors and enforcement personnel will be required to closely observe, and regulate, the activities near, and at, polling places, as regards the conduct of ballot casting, recording, and reporting, of results on both the first, and second, canvass. Additionally, they will be needed to scrutinize the proper handling of voters, and the numerous issues that invariably arise at polling places, particularly in hotly contested races.

Some individuals might question whether the federal government, specifically the Justice Department, can afford to get involved in ensuring the integrity of a local race, that might produce little more than 100,000 votes. We would remind those persons of the axiom “all politics is local,” and suggest that the Justice Department cannot afford to not get involved.

Finally, Joseph Stalin, infamous, iron-handed, ruler of the former Soviet Union once remarked, “Those who vote determine nothing; those who count the vote determine everything.”

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