State Supreme Court Judge Mary H. Smith has granted a motion to invalidate Independence Party petitions submitted by Westchester County legislature candidate Mike Kane, Peekskill Mayor Mary Foster and her entire Common Council slate, Legislator John Testa, R-Peekskill, announced Saturday, Aug. 6, in a press release. The judge concurred Aug. 4 that the petitions filed by the Democrats were fraught with inaccuracies and misrepresentations and were fraudulently witnessed in several instances, the press release said.
“Despite the frantic attempts by the Peekskill Democrats and their ‘spin doctors’ to dismiss the lawsuit against them, claiming it amounted to nothing more than ‘inconsequential technical errors,’ as one of them put it, is laughable. The fact is the Democrats got caught cheating … again,” said Cathy Pisani, a former Republican Peekskill councilwoman, upon hearing of the successful outcome of her court challenge.
Kane’s campaign had announced that the Westchester County Board of Elections had ruled against a majority of objections filed by associates of Testa. Testa’s release was prefaced with “The information being posted on some on-line outlets as new yesterday … is actually close to one week old. [Here] is the up-to-date information.”
Excerpts of Testa’s comments in the press release:
“For weeks throughout the petitioning process the public has been bombarded by the increasing shrill, outrageous claims made by the Democratic candidates and their operatives insisting that County Legislator John Testa was somehow trying to limit the ‘choice’ of voters. Nothing is further from the truth; as usual with the Peekskill Democrats, you have to look at what they do, not what they say. The fact is, by successfully challenging them in court, the fraud they tried to perpetrate has been exposed for what it is, an attempt to limit voters’ choice. For Mike Kane, chairman of the Peekskill Democratic Party, and Darrin Rigger, the local Democratic press secretary and professional political operative who has worked for John Hall and Charlie Rangel, to claim ‘politics’ is beyond hypocritical!
“A judge had to do what the partisan Board of Elections Commissioner Reginald Lafayette would not – admit the truth behind the cheating and outrageous actions by the Democratic candidates during the petition process. Kane’s petitions for county legislator were rife with improper submissions. Of the 104 submitted signatures only 30 were valid. Kane filed petitions with signatures that did not match those on file with the Board of Elections, a petition for completely different elections was submitted as his own and witness statements on multiple petitions were fraudulent. Commissioner Lafayette, at the urging of the Democratic candidates, ignored the inaccuracies and pushed the decision over to the judge, who determined that enough signatures were invalid to disqualify Kane from the Independence line on the ballot.
”The fact remains that three-quarters of the required signatures that were submitted were judged improper speaks volumes. I have garnered a reputation over my almost 20 years of public service, first as a councilman, mayor and now as a county legislator of playing by the rules and following the proper procedures to get elected. I will not tolerate cheating and will always challenge any opponent who feels they need to cheat during an election. I owe it to the people who have supported and elected me. My thanks to former Councilwoman Cathy Pisani for taking a stand for what is right.”
Please click here to read the entire text of Testa's release.