Editor note: The following is a press release from the North Greenbush Democratic Chairman Dan Ashley.
North Greenbush GOP Practicing Blagojevich “Pay to Play” Politics With Judicial Vacancy
North Greenbush Democratic Chairman Dan Ashley expressed concerns today that town Republicans are taking full advantage of the desperate political situation Conservative town board members find themselves in by holding the 2009 Republican endorsement for their positions hostage to their Town Board official acts by casting their votes for a Republican endorsed candidate for town justice. As a result, Ashley urged the appointment of a Town Justice who will temporarily fill this position and who will not seek election in the fall as a means of eradicating the political pressure being exercised over town board members.
Three registered Conservatives who have “nowhere to turn for political support”, have been told by members of the Republican Committee that the Republican endorsement would be in jeopardy unless they cast a Town Board vote for a GOP choice for Town Justice. The GOP want Evers, Desso and Kern to vote to appoint a Republican Committee nominee to the position of Town Justice at the May 14th Town Board meeting and have delayed committing to any endorsements until their nominee is placed on the bench. The Board is meeting Wednesday May 13th at 6PM to interview candidates for the position in a meeting called by the Conservative Supervisor.
“This is exactly the kind of political corruption that landed former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich a Federal Indictment and Impeachment for, among other things, attempting to sell his vote to appoint a US Senator for campaign cash” stated Ashley. The former governor is alleged to have also used his office to try to make cash off state appointments and state business in exchange for passing legislation and other official government actions.
Ashley predicted that this political pay to play scheme would produce a 3-2 vote at a future Town Board meeting to appoint a marginal Republican candidate with NO trial experience and that the appointment would be followed by Republican endorsements for Evers, Kern and Desso. They would then be issued a coveted “Wilson Pakula” waiver from the Republican County Chairman which permits non party members to run on another party’s line. Without the waiver, none of these Conservatives can receive the Republican line and apparently, as in Illinois, the waiver comes with a price, stated Ashley.
“This kind of coercion casts a pall over the Town Board’s appointment process and is worthy of investigation.” These three Board members votes are likely to be cast, not because a candidate is qualified, but because such an appointment carries an unlawful understanding and benefit in exchange for an official act.