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