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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Could Results be Read in Palm Cards?

There's kind of a water-cooler theory of the Senate primary results going around (maybe it's just around our water cooler, but I think I've heard others say this, too) -- that you can't be under indictment and postpone your trial for more than a year and still win an election. That may be true, at least in part, and there's probably no scientific way of proving it.

But another plausible explanation of the results may be found in the palm card distribution by the party, or lack thereof.

Liz Benjamin at the Daily News
posted this Democratic Party regular palm card distributed in the bulk of Efrain Gonzalez's district, but excludes his name.

Palm cards encouraging voters to vote for a slate of candidates are distributed by campaign volunteers just outside the polls. They can be effecitve particulary in races with extremely low turnout and elections with fairly low profile races (not a lot of people know who the candidates for state legislature are, much less district leader and the like).

Earlier today I spoke to Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, one of the architects of the Rainbow Rebellion, a large faction of Bronx Assembly members and senators who now oppose Party leader Jose Rivera.

Gonzalez was the only candidate both groups of Bronx Democrats supported. Dinowitz's Benjamin Franklin Reform Democratic Club even backed Gonzalez, who is under indictment, because their overarching goal is taking Senate control away from the Republicans. Gonzalez's opponent, Pedro Espada, has flirted with the Republican Party despite his Democratic affiliation, and he could very well keep the balance of power tilted toward the GOP.

Dinowitz says that the only Assembly District (a few A.D.s overlap with Gonzalez's larger Senate District) that Gonzalez got more votes than Espada in was Dinowitz's own -- the 81st A.D. And it was in this A.D. that Gonzalez's name did appear on palm cards -- Ben Franklin Club cards that had Gonzalez's name and the successful civil court candidate the club and the Rainbow rebel faction vigorously backed, Elizabeth Taylor.

Just a theory, but maybe Gonzalez would have won if all the palm cards distributed that day looked more like this one, which was handed to me outside my daughter's school on Gun Hill Road.

1 comment:

  1. Not only were the bronx county palm cards witout Gonzalez they were printed NON-UNION. many labor people refused to hand them out.


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