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. Erik Bottcher
  9. Robin Byrd
  10. Hon. Gale Brewer
  11. Christian Campbell
  12. Gus Christensen
  13. Hon. Martin Connor
  14. Hon. Jon Cooper
  15. Wilson Cruz
  16. Hon. Laurie Cumbo
  17. Alan Cumming
  18. Valorie Curry
  19. Michael Czaczkes
  20. Hon. Bill de Blasio
  21. Jon Del Giorno
  22. Aries Dela Cruz
  23. Kyan Douglas
  24. Hon. Daniel Dromm
  25. James Duff
  26. Hon. Ronnie Eldridge
  27. Hon. Rafael Espinal
  28. Hon. Herman Farrell
  29. Hon. Alan Fleishman
  30. Hon. Dan Garodnick
  31. Dan Gettleman
  32. Jason Goldman
  33. Emily Jane Goodman
  34. Hon. Mark Green
  35. Tony Hoffmann
  36. Hon. Brad Hoylman
  37. Binn Jakupi
  38. Hon. Letitia James
  39. Hon. Corey Johnson
  40. Camille Joseph
  41. Phillip Keane
  42. Greg Lambert
  43. Dodge Landesman
  44. Phillip McCarthy
  45. Matt McMorrow
  46. Michael Mallon
  47. Mike C. Manning
  48. David Mansur
  49. Cathy Marino-Thomas
  50. Troy Masters
  51. Hon. Carlos Menchaca
  52. Hon. Rosie Mendez
  53. John Cameron Mitchell
  54. Donny Moss
  55. Barry Mullineaux
  56. Hon. Paul Newell
  57. Denis O'Hare
  58. America Olivo
  59. Noah Pfefferbilt
  60. Josue Pierre
  61. Bob Pontarelli
  62. Billy Porter
  63. Hon. Keith Powers
  64. Randy Rainbow
  65. Hon. Jenifer Rajkumar
  66. Hon. Gustavo Rivera
  67. Hon. Helen Rosenthal
  68. Maer Roshan
  69. Toby Russo
  70. Bill Samuels
  71. James Sansum
  72. Scott Sartiano
  73. Hon. Arthur Schwartz
  74. Lynn Schulman
  75. Frank Selvaggi
  76. Rev. Al Sharpton
  77. Hon. Jo Anne Simon
  78. Tom Smith
  79. Anne Strahle
  80. Hon. Scott Stringer
  81. Wayne Sunday
  82. Hon. Bill Thompson
  83. JD Thompson
  84. Bjorn Thorstad
  85. Hon. Matt Titone
  86. Hon. Ritchie Torres
  87. Sam Underwood
  88. Jessica Walter
  89. Patricia Nell Warren
  90. Wil Weder
  91. Seth Weissman
  92. Mel Wymore
  93. Emma Wolfe
  94. Hon. Keith Wright
  95. Zephyr Teachout