Sunday, May 28, 2006

New York: Independence Party set to endorse Spitzer?

Elizabeth Benjamin put it this way on the Albany Times Union blog May 25

Now that the state Conservative Party has officially given its nod to John Faso, Bill Weld is increasing his push for the state Independence Party.
Weld was in Albany last weekend hosting Independence Party leaders. Earlier this week, two of the party’s county chairs (Richmond and Ulster), who are also executive committee members, unveiled Independents for Weld, (a.k.a I4W, not to be confused with WD40). The Weld campaign called this “a grassroots effort to draft Bill Weld as the Independence Party’s nominee for governor.”
The Independence Party is scheduled to hold its nominating convention Saturday, June 3 in Albany, the day after the GOP convention ends in Long Island.
It’s a safe bet the party will ultimately give its nod to whichever candidate its members believe is most likely to get them safely past the 50,000 threshhold and allow them to retain their official status, and, more importantly, their ballot line.
Last I heard, party leaders were leaning in AG Eliot Spitzer’s direction. Both Spitzer and Weld would need permission to run on the line (otherwise known as a Wilson-Pakula), since neither is an enrolled Independent. It takes a majority to land a Wilson Pakula - a far more difficult achievement than the 25 percent weighted state committee vote necessary to get on the ballot.
I assume Spitzer’s predisposed to accept the line now, given state Independence Party Chairman Frank MacKay’s efforts to sideline the organization’s most controversial figure: Lenora Fulani.
Fulani and her allies are continuing to fight MacKay in court over his move to dissolve three NYC Independence Party county committees (Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx), which he and his backers did because they believed those organizations were too controlled by Fulani et al.
The next hearing in this case is June 1.

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