Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Advocate Richard Blassberg

Cross-Endorsement: Cornerstone Of Corruption In New York State Politics

Students of Political Science, from Harvard to Berkley, and everywhere in between, are taught that the United States is fundamentally different from most other democracies worldwide, in that we operate politically under a two-party system. Presumably, under the two-party system candidates nominated by minor parties, Conservatives, Independents, Working Families, would stand little chance of election against those put up by the Republican and Democratic Parties. For the most part that is true throughout the country, and, as a result, one can count on the fingers of one hand the number of individuals who have been elected to Congress without the nomination of either the Republicans or Democrats.

However, in New York State, and only four other states out of fifty, the two-party system has been subverted by a gimmick known as cross-endorsement. Under the practice of cross-endorsement, candidates nominated by other parties are adopted, as it were, endorsed and nominated by minor parties, whose constituencies very often comprise the votes needed to put a Democrat or Republican over the top, in an otherwise close contest.

Here in Westchester, in recent elections, we have come to understand, only too well, the opportunity created for corrupt politicians, and party power brokers, to contaminate and subvert the electoral process through cross-endorsement. - at is not to suggest that all minor parties in Westchester have been engaged, at one time, or another, in the unlawful manipulation, or rigging of election outcomes. Quite the contrary.

There are times when a minor party will actually vote in its executive committee to support a Democrat or a Republican candidate based upon that candidate’s stance in support of some issue central to their party’s platform. Such was the case, we are told, in 2004, regarding the Working Families Party’s support of a Republican who claimed to strongly support a signi cant raise in the Minimum Wage. Ordinarily, one doesn’t expect that party to align itself with the Republican Party.

Nevertheless, it is common knowledge that the election process in Westchester has been fraught with fraud and criminal activity for many years, and that certain individuals, up to their eyeballs in race fixing and election fraud, have enjoyed protection from state prosecution in exchange for their conspiring with, and collaborating with the former District Attorney, Jeanine Pirro. Anthony Mangone, a political operative, admitted under cross-xamination, while serving as the chief prosecution witness at the Wedra trial in February 2002, that he, Mangone, was, in fact, the individual who forged 166 ballots in the Green Party primary of 2000. Not only was Mangone granted immunity, but Pirro arranged for him to be employed as an attorney in her husband’s former
law firm.

There have been several elections, involving numerous individuals, who engaged in unlawful activities, in Westchester, over the last ten years alone, enough to fill several columns on the subject. Suffice to say, significant numbers of elected officials, party committee persons, law enforcement personnel, and county and municipal employees, will be exposed in upcoming issues. For now, it should be pointed out that one of the most outrageous of these Election Fraud criminals is Giulio Cavallo, “on again, off again” Chairman of the Westchester Independence Party, who, we have been told, by usually reliable sources, is under federal investigation.

Mr. Cavallo, currently “employed,” by a State Legislator from Queens County, is clearly someone who several elected o cials and political operatives, from Westchester to Albany, are very concerned about. They
are plainly worried that, once put under threat of criminal prosecution by the United States Attorney’s Office, he will rat them all out to save his own ass. Cavallo is experiencing sleepless nights, not only in fear of prosecution but in fear of the consequences of his loss in last Tuesday’s primary to Nader Sayegh, co-founder, and former party chairman, who has been leading a very aggressive reform movement within the Westchester Independence

Stay tuned for further developments and revelations.

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