Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Bazzo Says: Kaplowitz And Testa Face No Challenge

Bazzo Says:

Reading and watching local media last week, one would assume it was Derek Hartley who shot Cecil the lion.
Derek Hartley is not first candidate to ever have his or her petitions disqualified do to unacceptable signatures.
I have yet to meet an elected official who did not think they have done such a great job that they deserve re-election without challenge. In fact, most take personal umbrage that someone would actually try to unseat them. In District 1, no candidates were eager to step up and challenge Mr. Testa. There were a couple of reasons for that:
1) This district had been re-drawn to give the Republican candidate a leg up. It is considered a red district. Elections have consequences, especially when it comes to drawing congressional, senate, assembly and legislative district boundaries.
2) Mr. Testa has been a good representative of District 1. Like when he was mayor of Peekskill, he is a tireless worker and has a feel for the needs of his constituents. He is part of the collaboration of Republicans and Democrats that our other legislator and Chairman of the Board of Legislators, Mike Kaplowitz, has cobbled together to great effect, making that body a true partner with the county executive in governing and meeting the needs of Westchester. In all honesty, John Testa deserves re-election. However, our system requires our legislators to earn re-election every two years. No matter how deserving of re-election, it is not heresy to mount a challenge.
Mr. Kaplowitz has done a great job in getting both sides to put most of their differences aside to govern; a true success story in working together. Yet, there is a group of legislators that are angry at Mr. Kaplowitz for not putting party before the people, and they reside in the Democrat Party. They are all for working together so long as it is Republicans who jettison their principles and give Democrats everything they want. You see, a collaboration like this marginalizes the wing nuts on both sides. The Democrats do not want their wing nuts marginalized. 
So, in reality, the wing nut side of the Democrat Party, wanting to break up Mr. Kapolwitz's bi-partisan way of governing, had trouble finding a candidate to challenge Mr. Testa. In fact, it was not until after most of the petitions had been gathered that the Democrats found a willing person to challenge Mr. Testa. That person, Derek Hartley, was new to the process.
Not having time to go door-to-door in search of signatures, the Democrats had to go to shopping centers and other places where people in large numbers can be found. Hence, you have people signing who do not live in the district, or are not registered to the party. The general rule of thumb is to get twice as many signatures as required to withstand any challenge to a petition. So Mr. Hartley needed 500 signatures, should have gotten 1,000, but only got 563.
For an experienced campaigner like Mr. Testa, this was easy pickings. Mr. Hartley did not understand this, nor as a newbie, should he be expected to. However, Legislator Catherine Borgia and our own Councilman Vishnu Patel should have. Both submitted a high percentage of invalid signatures on Hartley’s behalf. I am not sure I would label this a grand conspiracy as much as it was a Hail Mary pass.
These wing nut Democrats wanted so badly to unseat Mr. Kaplowitz as chairman of the board, they got desperate. It blew up in their faces.
This is my problem with the coverage of the disqualifying of the petitions. Because of this, Yorktown will not have competitive elections this November for either of its legislative districts. Both Mr. Kaplowitz and Mr. Testa are deserving of re-election, but as a voter and commentator, I fault both parties for not being able to find a field qualified candidates for either district, as this does the voters a disservice.  However, in the grand scheme of things, having representatives such as Mr. Testa and Mr. Kaplowitz as our representatives is not such a bad thing, in fact we are lucky to have such diligent representatives.  They have served us well.
This is what I say. What say you?

Yorktown News Website (http://www.youryorktown.com/)
Mahopac News Website (http://www.yourmahopac.com/mahopac)

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