Working Families Petitioner for Congressman Dan Maffei Wins Ruling That He Is a Resident of New York

On May 9, an Onondaga County, New York trial court ruled that the petitions to put Congressman Dan Maffei on the Working Families Party primary ballot are valid. The challengers had argued that the signatures were collected by someone who was not a bona fide resident of New York state, but was really a Georgia resident who had temporarily registered to vote in New York state. See this article.

Congressman Maffei, a Democrat running for re-election, seeks the Working Families nomination as well as the Democratic Party’s nomination.


Working Families Petitioner for Congressman Dan Maffei Wins Ruling That He Is a Resident of New York — No Comments

  1. The issue was whether he is a Working Families member. If he was not a resident of New York, he could not be a member.

    The courts appear to have determined that failure to acquire a New York driver’s license, vehicle registration, and perhaps pay state income taxes do not indicate non-residence; but rather mere non-compliance with the law.

    The more fundamental problem is the corruption of the con-fusion system in New York, where many of the political parties do not exist in any sort of meaningful way, other than to provide an advertising banner on ballots.

  2. I do not agree that the issue in this case was about party membership. However, I admit I haven’t seen the court decision.

  3. The circulator is Maffei’s campaign manager, who has previously lived and been registered to vote in North Carolina and Georgia, and has a car registered in Georgia.

    If you are a resident of a state and drive, you are required to have a state driver’s license. If you are a temporary worker, working on a campaign, for example, you are not.

    If you are a resident of a state, you may register to vote, and in some states express a party affiliation. If you are not a resident, you may not register to vote.

    In New York, in order to circulate a petition for a candidate for nomination, you have to be a member of the party. Maffei’s campaign manager registered as a Working Families member.

    Here is the decision of the Onondaga Supreme Court (remember that in New York, a Supreme Court is a lower court and not supreme).

    Part of the decision appears to be missing, but the key is the judgement on the last page which denies the motion of the plaintiff (who is the county Republican chair) to invalidate Kane Miller’s registration as a member of the Working Families party.

    Maffei’s Working Family petition is contingent on it being circulated by a registered Working Families voter. And a voter can’t be registered unless he is a resident (and it would be close to impossible to prove that someone who says that they are Working Families registrant is not a Working Families registrant).

    What’s really bizarre is that the Maffei campaign couldn’t find someone local to circulate the petition, and had to get their Georgia campaign manager to register as a Working Families member.

    The Republicans may be simply doing this for political purposes. I imagine many people in Syracuse would visualize a Georgian as driving a pickup truck with Confederate battle flags and gun rack. I don’t know why someone in New York would hire someone from Georgia to run their campaign.

  4. Lots of people in New York City have cars registered in other states and always have. (My neighbors and relatives did this going back to the 1950s, as far as I can recall.) A walk on any block with ample parking in Brooklyn, Manhattan, or other boroughs show that cars parked there regularly have Florida, Vermont, New Jersey, and other states’ license plates. Car registration is not a valid indicator of resident. Having an out-of-state car registration may be illegal, but you’re still a New York resident.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *