Dem County Chair: ‘Insiders’ Shouldn’t Manipulate AG Ballot
AG Andrew Cuomo’s reported effort to influence the selection of a Democratic candidate to run for the office he’ll vacate is not sitting well with at least one supporter of an AG contender who is not benefitting from Cuomo’s support.
Montgomery County Democratic Chairwoman Bethany Schumann-McGhee sent an e-mail to state committee members today after reading Nick Confessore’s account of Cuomo’s push on behalf of Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice, expressing her concern over the suggestion that the convention process is “being manipulated to benefit one candidate.”
Schumann-McGhee, who has endorsed Eric Dinallo for AG, was careful not to call out Cuomo, specifically, preferring instead to lay the blame at the feet of a “handful of insiders,” (who are, of course, presumably doing the AG’s bidding).
She also played the “upstate” card, which is something about which party leaders are particularly sensitive, since is currently just one upstater on the statewide ticket: US Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
“I think that’s wrong, and it’s not what the Democratic Party is all about,” the chairwoman wrote.
“Our party is blessed with a number of qualified candidates for Attorney General, and they all deserve a chance to get on the ballot, unimpeded.”
“Democratic primary voters – and not a handful of insiders – should decide who our nominee is this fall. Regardless of whether or not you have chosen your candidate, I hope that you would agree with me that the process should be open and democratic.”
“…Like many Upstate Democrats, I’m uncomfortable with the idea of a handful of party insiders determining who gets on the ballot. Please join me in telling our party leaders that we want a Democratic convention that’s truly democratic.”
Schumann-McGhee went on to note that Dinallo won the Democratic Rural Conference straw poll by “a convincing margin of two-to-one over the second-place candidate,” (that would be Rice, who was reportedly assisted by Cuomo allies urging committee members to vote for anyone BUT Dinallo in hopes of reducing his margin of victory).
There has been a lot of speculation about how the AG ballot will work at the convention in Rye next week. State Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs floated the idea that all the contenders would get onto ballot, but that was subsequently shot down.
Now the rumors are flying thick and fast:
Maybe there will be just one ballot and Rice, who is the only AG candidate with sufficient support to get past the 25 percent mark, will be the only one to make the cut; or maybe there will be a ballot with three contenders: Rice, Sen. Eric Schneiderman and Assembly Richard Brodsky.
At this point, it’s still a work in progress, I’m told.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on May 21, 2010 at 3:20 pm, and is filed under Andrew Cuomo, Attorney General, Democrats. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|