An article from late yesterday on horribly revamped The Buffalo News website (I should be able to freely post the link; afterall, I’m a subscriber! I need to keep up on what Garfield is doing. Most likely eating lasagna and getting Jon Arbuckle into trouble! That darn cat!) says that sources “close to the situation” say that Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and NYS Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy will keep their noses out of the contest for electing a new chairperson for the Erie County Democratic Party.
Apparently, Governor Cuomo and Co. wanted current chair Len Lenihan out. Lenny didn’t get along with Byron Brown, who besides being a fan of podiums, is Buffalo mayor and an ally of Cuomo. Who would replace Len? How about former Buffalo Mayor Tony Masiello? Well, besides the fact that Masiello makes good coin as a lobbyist, some feathers were ruffled by Cuomo trying to assert his influence on the normally peaceful and not at all fractured world that is Erie County Politics.
Mark Poloncarz had favored Jeremy Zellner for the job, it was believed. But now the county exec won’t be endorsing anybody.
You see, when your political party isn’t actually unified on things, the only way to have the appearance of that is to have the entire committee vote on the matter. So, a secret ballot will be held instead. This way, any deals that would’ve been made by the big-wigs would be useless. In this case, insiders reveal that it will a “double-secret” election…
Under the rules of a “double-secret election”, not only does nobody else know what any one committee person votes, but the person voting doesn’t even know. Each of the now 456 candidates who want to be chair will be randomly assigned a number, and each committee member will draw a number out of a hat. Whoever the candidate that corresponds with that number is selected will get that vote. Plus, the number assignment will change every time a vote is cast. So, if number 7 is James Eagen one time, he may be number 342 the next. It’s completely random!
In addition, the date and location and time that this secret election will be held is under wraps. So, for the potential 1,600 committee voters, they’ll just have to get lucky.
Says one party insider:
“The whole thing is fucked up and random, but it’s the best we can do in the place of real unity.”
If any of the candidates fail to achieve a majority of votes, they will all enter into a no-holds barred steel cage match. Many will enter, but only one will exit victorious…