Aronowitz’s campaign and the Green Party charge that
Golisano’s television ads, which state that he is the
only candidate that is not funded by special-interest
money, are misleading and untrue because Aronowitz has
not received any special-interest funding either. The
groups claim that Golisano, who beat out Gov. George
E. Pataki by 900 votes in the Independence primary on
Tuesday, violates the Fair Campaign Code under New York
state law by making false statements.
(Golisano) is not the only one who can make that claim,”
said David Lerner, spokesman for the Aronowitz campaign.
“That is the point of all this. Either he should pull
the ad or he should credit Aronowitz.” Lerner added
that the Green party receives all of its money strictly
from private donations and fundraisers.
Ernest Baynard, communication director for the Galisano
campaign, said that the ads are accurate. “We define
special interest,” said Baynard, “as anyone who contributes
with the intent to unduly influence a candidate now
or when in office. No one else in the field meets that
standard, and the only guarantee to make sure a candidate
is not influenced by special-interest money is to self-finance.
We stand by our statement given that definition of special
Mark Dunlea, vice chairman for the Green Party of New
York state, pointed out the irony that Golisano is in
the process of suing Pataki for putting misleading statements
in his mailing list.
seems to be a double standard,” said Dunlea. “He doesn’t
want the governor to pick on him by giving out false
information, but he seems quite happy to continue to
send out false information in his own ads.”
Dunlea said that a group of Buffalo Greens bombarded
local television stations last week with phone calls
demanding that the networks stop running the ads. Many
also wrote complaints to the Federal Communication Commission
claiming that Golisano was airing false information,
but no action has been taken to pull the ads so far.
ads are accurate,” said Baynard. “When we apply that
definition to the concept that we are talking about,
the only candidate in the field that meets that standard
is Tom Golisano.”
Name Is in the Pot
dope—the Marijuana Re- form Party has secured an official
ballot line for New York’s 2002 gubernatorial elections.
This is the second time the MRP will have a ballot line
in a state gubernatorial election. The party secured
a ballot line in the race four years ago; however, its
campaign was threatened last week when members of the
state Green Party challenged the validity of its petition
signatures. The action was never completed, leaving
Thomas K. Leighton and Thomas J. Hillgardner with clear
path to voting booths on Nov. 5 for governor and lieutenant
are competition for [the Green Party’s] votes,” Leighton
said. “The reason they began the challenge was so they
could get us off the ballot. They’re afraid that votes
for another candidate or party are a threat to votes
for their candidate and party.”
we threatened? Well, he does take votes away from us,”
said Mark Dunlea, vice chairman of the state Green Party.
“We know his petitions don’t comply to state law, but
to collect that many signatures, he deserves to run.
We may not like it, but he has the right to run.”
Chalking it up to the politics of the left as usual,
Leighton said he carries no grudge over the challenge
and is looking ahead to achieving the MRP’s goal. The
party hopes to lobby enough support statewide to receive
50,000 votes, thus registering the MRP as an official
political party in New York and ensuring a ballot line
over the next four years.
line has value to politicians,” Leighton said. “It has
tremendous potential, as it gives us something the politicians
want. A lot of times a major candidate will come to
a minor party and ask for backing. It can help elect
The MRP has a narrow political focus. By pushing for
the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes,
repeal of the Rockefeller drug laws and the lawful cultivation
of hemp for industrial purposes, Leighton feels he can
better portray the MRP’s issues to the people of New
is not just a matter of smoking pot,” Leighton said.
“There are health, freedom, and economic issues here.
This is the war on drugs with the Rockefeller drug laws.
We’re trying to bring New York state into the drug reforms
that are sweeping the nation.”
Andrew Cuomo’s departure from the Democratic gubernatorial
race deflated some of the primary-day hype, several
races of local significance proved interesting.
Albany’s Democratic primary for City Judge, William
Carter, Cheryl Coleman and Tom Keefe received the most
votes, leaving Mayor Jerry Jennings-backed candidate
Gary F. Stiglmeier out. Though the elections are still
pending, Tuesday’s primary reaffirmed the seats of incumbents
Carter and Coleman, while Keefe’s win left egg on the
mayor’s face. Jennings, who did not endorse Keefe, failed
in his attempt to push through legislation unfavorable
to Keefe’s bid at the state level, which would have
changed the way judges in Albany are elected.
At press time, Rochester billionaire Thomas B. Golisanio
leads Gov. George Pataki in the Independence Party gubernatorial
primary. With 98 of the precincts reporting, Golisano
leads Pataki 52 to 48 percent. According to the Sept.
11 Times Union, Golisano’s political consultant
Roger Stone said this primary shows Pataki’s vulnerbability.
“It shows if you can get voters to fairly scrutinize
his record, he can be beaten,” Stone told the TU.
In another local race, John McEneny easily handled his
competition, Kerry Murphy, for the Assembly slot on
the Independence Party line. While McEneny defeated
Murphy by a count of more than 2 to 1, he lost the Green
Party nomination to Joshua Lieberson—who defeated McEneny
by receiving 11 of the 12 votes cast in the primary.
Finally, Republicans in New York’s 23rd Congressional
District renominated U.S. Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, a
10-term GOP congressman who narrowly survived a challenge
by David Walrath. With 97 percent of precincts reporting,
Boehlert holds a lead of just under 1,500 votes.