Wednesday, July 06, 2005

New York GOP Chief Hints Corruption in Democratic Primary

The chairman of the New York Republican Party, Stephen J. Minarik, recently sent a letter to the state attorney general, Elliot Spitzer, alleging that a nonprofit group formally run by the leading Democratic candidate for mayor, Fernando Ferrer, had violated tax laws during his tenure as CEO.
The complaint is based on various alleged nonprofit violations. Minarik wrote that $95, 100 was raised by the group for Ferrer's campaign. He went on to detail the education plan endorsed by the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, which he claims is the same as Ferrer's, and that a fellow of the institute, Andrew Friedman, who receives a small retainer for his duties, had recently spoken at an event held by the mayoral hopeful. Under New York state laws, a nonprofit organization may not endorse candidates, make donations, or join in "politically partisan activities", reports the Times.
The Ferrer campaign immediately denounced the letter as partisan maneuvering. Ferrer's spokeswoman, Jen Bluestein, also accused the Bloomberg administration of being behind the attack. She continued by castigating Bloomberg for attempting to damage the reputation of an institute that has continued the "legacy of Martin Luther King".
The office of the attornery general issued a statement saying that they would review the accusation's validity and look into the case as they would any other. Many republicans are suspicious as attorney general Elliot Spitzer has openly supported the mayoral bid of Fernando Ferrer and has demonstrated a keen interest in pursuing elected office himself, as governor.
Interesting. The citizens of New York can only hope that Spitzer puts a legitimate effort into the case to ensure a clean election. However, if Ferrer is guilty as accused, it's in the public interest that another candidate emerges from the Democratic Party to make the race competitive. Although this page applauds Mayor Bloomberg's success in decreasing the number of failing students in the city by tens of thousands, it is wary of an education system that is rubber stamped by standardized tests.


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