This week’s Astorino Watch piece is a submission from another vigilant reader. Westchester County residents may want to be equally vigilant when it comes to the 2017 election for County Executive, because back in 2013, Rob Astorino was taken to court over dirty tricks. According to Dhyalma Vazquez and Federal Court Judge Cathy Seibel, there’s still fallout for those who don’t fall in line. What’s interesting about the Vazquez case is the County tried to have her case dismissed but failed. Best to take a tip from the Boy Scouts’ motto and Be Prepared!
Rob Astorino, Trump’s cheerleader in Westchester County government, may raise a few eyebrows from his mentor, and from the county’s voters. Trump, who has gone out on a limb to raise accusations of election fraud, may be surprised to learn that Astorino was sued in Westchester County Supreme Court for racketeering and tampering with election rolls.
The lawsuit, filed in 2013 by the Independence Party, accused Astorino and other Republicans of trying to rig the primary elections by coercing dozens of staff members, political associates, friends and family members to switch their party affiliation to the Independence Party “in order to take over the Independence Party,” which had declined to endorse him in the 2013 county executive election. By infiltrating the Independence Party with his own supporters, Astorino was hoping to be the Independence Party candidate on the ballot and pick up those votes for the County Executive race.
The lawsuit claimed that many Republicans changed their party affiliation just before the deadline to be eligible to vote in that year’s Independence Party primary and that some of the applications were back-dated by Republican officials at the Board of Elections.
The evidence included a recorded 8-minute tape conversation in which Astorino defended his efforts to fill the Independence Party with loyal Republicans.
The state judge ruled in favor of the Independence party and authorized the removal of 3,700 of the Republican’s staff, family and associates from the Independent party’s enrollment, roughly 17% of the Independence Party’s members.
Given this history, Westchester voters must be especially alert to other dirty tricks by Astorino in the race ahead.
For more on this case, readers can go to these links: