From: nydailynews.com

City Council resists speaker's push to put pal on Board of Elections

Outgoing City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito hoped to "steamroll" ally Andrew Praschak into a Board of Elections post, said Manhattan Democratic Party Executive Director Barry Weinberg, but "in the end she was the only one pushing the steamroller.” (Anthony DelMundo/New York Daily News)


By Erin Durkin
Tuesday, November 21, 2017

With weeks left in her term, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is pushing to install a pal for the Manhattan seat on the city Board of Elections.

But other Council members have balked — and a potential vote on Andrew Praschak, a lawyer and close ally of the speaker, at Tuesday’s Democratic conference meeting was called off after Manhattan pols resisted Mark-Viverito’s move, sources said.

“She’s trying to hold on to whatever political power she can,” said Barry Weinberg, executive director of the Manhattan Democratic Party.

“Even people who like Melissa aren’t willing to circumvent proper procedure,” he said. “She was going to steamroll her person in, and then in the end she was the only one pushing the steamroller.”

The Manhattan Democratic commissioner seat is now held by Alan Schulkin — who was caught on tape making wild claims about voter fraud, and whose term expired at the end of 2016 but will remain on the job until his replacement is approved.

Schulkin faced pressure to resign after a video — secretly filmed by the right-wing group Project Veritas — emerged where he claimed organizations in black, Hispanic and Chinese neighborhoods “bus people around” to vote at multiple poll sites and said there’s “a lot of voter fraud” in New York. He also claimed the city’s municipal ID program was enabling “all kinds of fraud.”

The Manhattan Dems, led by ex-Assemblyman and Mark-Viverito rival Keith Wright, nominated Wright aide Jeanine Johnson for the seat late last year.

Johnson, the county party’s pick, had baggage of her own, including a drunken driving case that ended in a plea deal in 2015.

But the Council squelched the nomination by not voting on it in time — so under the arcane rules that govern the elections board, power shifts to the Council’s Democratic caucus to make the pick internally.

Mark-Viverito put up Praschak for the seat — but members of the Manhattan delegation objected that they hadn’t gone through their usual process of interviewing picks for a seat, sources said.

They now expect to interview Praschak, a longtime federal lawyer and LGBT activist, and potentially other candidates in the coming weeks.

A spokeswoman said only that the Council is considering all options. Praschak could not be reached.

Allen Roskoff, president of the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, blasted the move.

“If he gets on to the Board of Elections, he will have one master, and he’ll serve her,” he said.

Officers

BOARD OF GOVERNORS

  1. Hon. Eric Adams
  2. George Arzt
  3. Lance Bass
  4. John Blair
  5. Mark Benoit
  6. Hon. Rodneyse Bichotte
  7. Hon. Jonathan Bing
  8. Matthew Bond
  9. Erik Bottcher
  10. Hon. Gale Brewer
  11. Danny Burstein
  12. Robin Byrd
  13. Tiffany Cabán
  14. Christian Campbell
  15. Gus Christensen
  16. Hon. Martin Connor
  17. Tom Connor
  18. Hon. Jon Cooper
  19. Wilson Cruz
  20. Hon. Laurie Cumbo
  21. Alan Cumming
  22. Michael Czaczkes
  23. Hon. Bill de Blasio
  24. Aries Dela Cruz
  25. Jon Del Giorno
  26. Kyan Douglas
  27. James Duff
  28. Hon. Ronnie Eldridge
  29. Hon. Rafael Espinal
  30. Marc Fliedner
  31. Hon. Dan Garodnick
  32. Dan Gettleman
  33. Jason Goldman
  34. Emily Jane Goodman
  35. Hon. Mark Green
  36. Tony Hoffmann
  37. Hon. Brad Hoylman
  38. Binn Jakupi
  39. Hon. Letitia James
  40. Hon. Corey Johnson
  41. Camille Joseph
  42. Phillip Keane
  43. Suzanne Kessler
  44. Yetta Kurland
  45. Dodge Landesman
  46. Hon. Melissa Mark-Viverito
  47. Phillip McCarthy
  48. Matt McMorrow
  49. Michael Mallon
  50. Mike C. Manning
  51. David Mansur
  52. Cathy Marino-Thomas
  53. Troy Masters
  54. Hon. Carlos Menchaca
  55. Hon. Rosie Mendez
  56. John Cameron Mitchell
  57. Donny Moss
  58. Barry Mullineaux
  59. Denis O'Hare
  60. America Olivo Campbell
  61. Noah Pfefferbilt
  62. Josue Pierre
  63. Bob Pontarelli
  64. Billy Porter
  65. Hon. Keith Powers
  66. Randy Rainbow
  67. Hon. Gustavo Rivera
  68. Hon. Helen Rosenthal
  69. Maer Roshan
  70. Sheila Rule
  71. Toby Russo
  72. Bill Samuels
  73. James Sansum
  74. Scott Sartiano
  75. Hon. Arthur Schwartz
  76. Lynn Schulman
  77. Cecile Scott
  78. Frank Selvaggi
  79. Rev. Al Sharpton
  80. David Siffert
  81. Hon. Jo Anne Simon
  82. Kathy Slawinski
  83. Tom Smith
  84. Anne Strahle
  85. Hon. Scott Stringer
  86. Wayne Sunday
  87. Hon. Bill Thompson
  88. JD Thompson
  89. Bjorn Thorstad
  90. Hon. Matt Titone
  91. Jessica Walter
  92. Barry Weinberg
  93. Seth Weissman
  94. Hon. Jumaane Williams
  95. Emma Wolfe
  96. Hon. Keith Wright
  97. Zephyr Teachout