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« Op-Ed School Safety Should Not Be A Partisan Issue | Main | Op-Ed Republican Running A Democratic Primary Is Hardly A Teaching Moment »

Editorial - Judicial Process Is Bad But A Republican On Democrat Line Is No Answer

I had hoped to give a thumbs up to the women who have decided to take on the very political judicial nominee process. Dare I say it’s about time. There is no time like the present to change the back-room deal making cross-endorsement system that allows political chairpersons to horse trade endorsements that offer little or no benefit to the public.

Unless… what you get is worse than what you are giving up. 

Democrats going to the polls to vote in the Democratic primary Thursday, September 13 will have a choice of voting for a Democrat or a Republican for Suffolk County Surrogate Court Judge to represent Democrats on their line in the November 6th election.

Newsday’s Editorial Board calls the Surrogate Court Judge position “ the mother lode of patronage.” The surrogate judge assigns attorneys legal work including handling wills and guardianships. Billing for these services can be lucrative.

Under the guise of cleaning up the judicial nominating process Republican Tara Scully solicited signatures and will challenge Democrat Theresa Whelan for the Democratic line on the ballot.  

Two reasons for not supporting this move are: It will restrict voter choice and secondly changing the selection process does not come from judges, it comes from the New York State Legislature. So a vote for Ms. Scully on the Democratic line will do nothing to rectify the process.

If Scully wins she will hold both Republican and Democat lines essentially wiping out voter choice. There is an old saying that goes if someone says it’s not about the money know that it’s about the money. In Scully’s case the mantra that it is not about the judgeship it’s about corrupt process, doesn’t withstand the smell test. The usurpation of the Democratic line by a Republican offers November 6th voters no choice and no remediation of the faulty process and allows Ms. Scully an uncontested path to the judgeship.

Democrats, like Republicans and all Suffolk County voters will have the opportunity to vote for Ms. Scully on November 6th. A vote for a Republican on the Democrat’s line is not a vote to change a bad process, rather it is a vote for a Republican on the Democratic line limiting voter options and contributing to voter disgust.

Pat Biancaniello



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