July 20, 2010 / Brooklyn news / Politics / Williamsburg / Committeman Confrontation

Vito to rivals: You want a spot on the ballot? Fight for it

The Brooklyn Paper
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Kings County Democratic Party Chairman Vito Lopez has a message for insurgent party members: the fight is on.

The county’s Democratic Party leadership took advantage of its experience in such matters and waited until 10 minutes before the deadline last week to file a spate of challenges against the candidacies of a group of insurgent Democrats running for unpaid party slots.

It typically takes 15 minutes for such challenges to show up on the Board of Elections’ computers, but by the time that happened, it would be too late for the challenged candidates to file counter-challenges.

So they didn’t bother waiting; the insurgent candidates also filed general challenges, lest they lose their chance as the deadline came and went.

“We may be reformers, but we don’t show up to knife fights carrying library books,” said one source inside the insurgency. “We are not your parents’ progressives — this is a new day.”

Party officials say they issued the challenges because they want more time to review petitions from first-time state committee candidates Lincoln Restler, Kate Zidar, Barbara Medina and Esteban Duran — and, if the petitions are not valid, issue specific challenges that could bump the newcomers off the ballot.

It’s no coincidence that the candidates are members of the New Kings Democrats, a two-year old Brooklyn political club that has clashed repeatedly with Lopez and his party machine.

Candidates for the state committee, a volunteer political party position, must submit 500 valid signatures. Typically, a candidate tries to submit twice as many signatures as required, a bulwark against a challenge to the signatures’ validity.

State committee members, also known as district leaders, are responsible for hiring poll workers and for electing the county leader. Despite the insurgency, Lopez’s job became much more secure last year after he created five additional at-large district leaders, loyalists who are expected to vote for him. Meanwhile, New Kings-backed district leader challengers have promised to buck Lopez’s leadership if they get elected.

Lopez, a state assemblyman and state committee candidate himself, would not comment on the petition challenges.

Updated 5:19 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Moshe Aron Kestenbaum from Williamsburg ODA says:
“If you get hit, we will punch back twice as hard,” Vito you sound like a desperate looser ", ..... We don't like having to fight desperate battles to save your position in the democratic party ..Vito your in a panic now then just step back and retire or punch the wall as hard as you can, Vito Time To Say Goodbye
July 20, 2010, 1:41 pm
Hopper from Los S-S says:
Why is it that everything Vito Lopez does has a dirty, dishonest smell to it?
July 20, 2010, 2:19 pm
moshe kestenbaum says:
the comment posted in my name is false
July 20, 2010, 5:47 pm
Fitzcarraldo from Willamsburg says:
Vito Lopez is the best! He just pushed through a law to protect Loft tenants over the objection of landlords and Mayor Bloomberg. I have alot of friends that live in lofts and Vito made turned what others called a pipe dream into a reality. This guy may be aggressive, but aggresive is what we need from politicians.

As for these petition challenges, I did a little research, and it seems to me that this is par for the course. In fact, I saw something on line that Obama did the same thing when he first ran for office.
July 20, 2010, 8:32 pm
McLovin from Williamsburg says:
the comments from vito's staffers were way more intelligent and nuanced when levin was still on payroll. "fitzcarraldo."
July 20, 2010, 9:33 pm
Moshe Aron Kestenbaum from Williamsburg ODA says:
Oda Weatherization Assistance
12 Heyward St
Brooklyn NY 11211

I urge the entire community to contact the The ODA at the above regarding the Weatherization Assistance for over $40Million of grants allocated to the ODA under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Funds are provided to reduce the energy expenditures of households by coconducted instrumented energy audits and installing energy conservation materials such as insulation, weatherstripping and caulk, high-efficiency heating and hot water systems, high-efficiency electrical fixtures and efficient building materials such as windows and doors. ARRA funds are expected to provide energy conservation assistance for more than 45,000 dwelling units.... The above amount should cover almost every dwelling in the Wiliamsburg community with new windows that will save energy and lower heating and cooling bills. the above amount should cover an estimated of over 100,000 windows in the community
July 21, 2010, 9:05 am
Fitzcarraldo from Williamsburg says:
Nope, not a staff member. Just a fan. Vito Lopez is actually working to make the lives of NYC residents better, not just talking about it.
July 27, 2010, 7:53 am

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