Updated 04/06/2020 NEW PALTZ, NY — Green Party officers condemned the unprecedented legal action by the Democratic National Committee that seeks to prevent the New York State Board Of Elections from exercising its lawful function of ruling on the specific objections local Democrats filed to the petition of Green candidate Steven Greenfield, of New Paltz, in New York’s 19th Congressional District. The Party said the Democratic Party had issued a similar legal notice to its candidate Harry Burger in New York’s 2nd Congressional District.
Green officials said that Steven Greenfield and the BOE had been served today with a legal notice that DNC Counsel Perkins & Cole were demanding a judge issue an injunction preventing the New York State Board of Elections from ruling on the specific objections filed to Steven Greenfield’s petitions. The legal notice alleged that because of COVID-19, the BOE would not be qualified to rule on the specific objections, and thus Mr. Greenfield should be left off the ballot. However, the specific objections themselves were filed by the Democratic Party, which is now engaging in reprehensible conduct and attempting to prevent their own objections from being ruled upon.
“This legal action filed by DNC Counsel Perkins & Cole is the height of anti-democratic behavior, and the Democrats’ accusations that the New York State Board of Elections cannot make a correct determination on objections to a petition, and that courts must therefore intervene to prevent Steven Greenfield from appearing on a primary ballot in June, are nonsensical, and an assault not on one candidate or party, but on the very foundation of the American electoral process,” said party co-chair Gloria Mattera.
Green officers also said candidates and parties should not be playing games with the challenge process during the COVID-19 crisis, and that this is a shameful act by the DNC.
Party officers said that the repugnant actions taken by the Democrats are because they know their objections are without merit, and they are afraid of the Green Party, and of Steven Greenfield as a candidate. The Green Party called on Antonio Delgado to immediately denounce the legal action and demand the Democratic Party drop its attempt to get an injunction against the BOE, and to apologize to Mr. Greenfield, the Green Party, and the citizens of the 19th District for its behavior.
“We are, unfortunately, used to Democratic Party efforts to keep Green Party candidates off the ballot. Witness the recent actions in the New York State budget that are clearly an attempt to kill off third parties, agreed upon by Gov. Cuomo and his Democratic allies in the Legislature. What makes this more disturbing, and unprecedented as legal action, is this lawsuit that seeks to prevent the New York State Board of Elections from doing its job by ruling on objections submitted by the Democratic Party. How can it both ask the BOE to rule on objections, and then try to have courts prevent the BOE from ruling on those same objections? It is the height of legal absurdity, an abuse of process, and morally repugnant,” said state party co-chair Peter LaVenia.
Making the DNC court action even more repugnant is that it specifically names the COVID-19 crisis, and the restrictions Governor Cuomo has placed upon the lives of New Yorkers in the effort to save millions of lives, on top of the thousands already lost, as the reason it is “just” for the court to prohibit the BOE from performing its lawful function. They are exploiting a devastating public emergency to abrogate democracy -- an emergency to which Mr. Greenfield, as a volunteer firefighter, has no choice but to face elevated risk while protecting others.
“We demand Rep. Antonio Delgado disavow these actions by the DNC, and call on them to drop their legal action immediately. Otherwise we will have to assume this occurred at his directive, likely because he is desperate to keep a challenger off the ballot that has a truly progressive, pro-public health platform that these times clearly demand. This action, and its horrifying timing, represent a new low that even we, as their customary targets, could never have expected, as it goes beyond partisan competition to attacking democracy itself,” said party co-chair Gloria Mattera.