STATEN ISLAND, NY, September 14, 2010 – Richard Bier, Vice Chairman of the Staten Island Libertarian Party, confirmed today that the New York City Board of Elections has accepted the petitions of three of their candidates for the upcoming November 2nd ballot. The petition signatures for a fourth candidate, Anthony Librera (AD-60), have been challenged by Michele Garofano.
Mr. Librera with the support of his party is bringing a court proceeding based on an incorrect address for the objector, and an incorrect finding by the Board of Elections regarding 47 signatures. After reviewing the specifications of the challenge, the Staten Island Libertarian Party is confident that Mr. Librera has secured a sufficient amount of signatures to be on the ballot, and this proceeding will prove that.
“We respect the challenge procedure as a necessary part of the democratic process,” Mr. Bier stated. “However, we question whether this particular challenge was filed for any reason other than politics. Sadly, this is not its intended purpose, and only serves to further undermine democracy.”
“To deny these signatures is to deny the voice of the people of Staten Island and Brooklyn, and their legitimate demand for choice,” Mr. Librera added. “Still, we have every confidence that the Supreme Court of Staten Island will rule judiciously. I look forward to spirited debates with Assemblymember Hyer-Spencer and Ms. Malliotakis, and bringing a fresh perspective to the race this fall.”
The Staten Island Libertarian candidates began their march for Liberty following the July 4th holiday, gathering in excess of 5,300 signatures in five weeks. Mr. Bier estimates that the candidates themselves collected over 97% of the signatures.
“We are extremely proud of these young men. They simply went out and met with the people. Obviously, the people liked what they had to say. Their discipline and hard work is very telling. It’s also a tribute to the people of Staten Island and Brooklyn. As communities go, these boroughs have a very strong sense of their independence.”
Tom Vendittelli is also looking to make ‘choice’ an issue in the race for New York’s 13th District congressional seat. “Not surprisingly, I’ve been hearing the message that many are disillusioned with the two party system. As we lose our social and economic freedoms, the political blame game has become little more than a distraction,” said Mr. Vendittelli.
As for the big money-backed names in this race, the Meiers Corner resident was frank about the competitive landscape. “The voters have told me that they’re just not hearing any substance, solutions, or accountability from the major party players. Ultimately, they’ve lost hope in them.”
“Our campaign is straightforward,” Mr. Vendittelli continued. “Congress needs to operate as it was intended, under a distinct set of principles and enumerated laws, namely the Constitution and its Bill of Rights. We got into this mess by disregarding the Constitution. Returning to our founding document is the short answer to most of our problems.”
Rounding out the local Libertarian field, Dave Narby is running for State Assembly in the 61st District, while Danny Panzella is campaigning for assembly responsibilities in the 63rd. Both are facing incumbents in heavily Democrat-registered districts.
Mr. Panzella is unfazed. “This election is too important, and the stakes too high for people to vote along party lines. The independent-minded voters of this district are too smart for that. They’re listening closely, and I have total faith in them,” the Manor Heights resident said.
“There are serious problems in Albany, and the people are keenly aware of it. Quality of life is declining, while service costs, utility prices, and tax rates are set to explode,” Mr. Panzella warned. “More bad times are coming unless we turn our fiscal policies around. That will require political courage.”
His North Shore Libertarian colleague, Mr. Narby, struck a similar chord. “There is much to be done, but we’re not going to get there by embracing the red team vs. blue team, 2-party politics of the past. We need independent, common-sense representation in Albany.”
“It’s time for this Island to focus on its own needs, and not settle for political table scraps. With nearly one in every four Staten Islanders out of work, we need breaks for small business to get our local economy energized. Historically, small business has always been the backbone of both recovery and growth,” said Mr. Narby.
Other than national, state, and citywide candidates, this is the first time that any Libertarian candidate has been on the ballot in Richmond County, as well as a first for the 13th congressional district covering Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn.
“These are historic times, and we hope to make history in November. The people are clearly ready to take back their government, and our candidates are dedicated to just that,” Mr. Bier added. “Staten Island Libertarians have only two special interests: the Constitution and our neighborhood constituencies. That’s not rhetoric, that’s for real.”
On Friday evening, September 17th, the candidates will celebrate Constitution Day at the historic Conference House Park, 298 Satterlee Street at the south end of Hylan Boulevard. The event begins at 7 PM on the waterfront pavilion, and will offer a screening of the film, ”Don’t Tread On Me: Rise of the Republic.” The program is free and open to the public.