Maloney, Seawright Go Dirty

Maloney, Seawright go dirty. As odds mount against their continuing in office, both throw off caring reputations in angry, dishonest attacks.

It’s jarring. Incumbent Democrats adopt dirty political tactics when the going gets rough. And in Maloney’s case, against one of her own.

A Democrat trashing another Democrat, virtually assuring unhealed wounds, no matter who wins.

Roosevelt Island News: Rebecca Seawright with her daughter at Roosevelt Island Day 2018
New York State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright in sunnier weather.

But when Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright flips her mistakes into accusations of Soviet Union-style politics, it’s not just mean. It’s also frivolous.

It ought to be embarrassing, but it’s probably not.

Seawright Cuts Loose On Republican Louis Puliafito

The inaugural shot out the ugly Democrat cannon chipped at the metal after Seawright blew her reelection chances by failing to file properly. Two different screw ups with two different parties.

But rather than humbly admit a mistake, Seawright went dirty, attacking her opponent.

Her campaign failed to include required cover sheets with petitions for Democratic Party voting. And in filing for the Working Families Party, she failed to provide a certificate of acceptance.

Her reason? For a period, she was quarantined with “COVID-like symptoms.”

Lou Puliafito campaigning in 2016.
Lou Puliafito campaigned against Seawright in 2018. He has secured his place on the ballot as a Republican, making him the odds on favorite to replace Seawright.

The Board of Elections disqualified her. Unanimously.

This she reinvented as “Soviet Union-style,” single party politics, but it’s unclear how Republicans may have misfiled her petitions.

Finally, in May, New York’s Court of Appeals agreed with the Board, ending Seawright’s ballot access possibilities. About the “COVID-like symptoms,” the court pointed out that numerous others filed properly under similar conditions.

Wouldn’t it have been easier to issue a mea culpa and “See you all agin in two years?”

Carolyn Maloney Goes Dirty and Does It Big

“Three years ago ahead of my first campaign, I was warned by people in the political sphere not to run because Maloney ‘plays dirty,’” challenger Suraj Patel wrote on Medium.

Suraj Patel 2018 Campaign
In 2018, Suraj Patel’s grassroots campaign included sit downs with voters.

“And in three years of running against her, this has been true time and time again.”

For one, the New York Post got a kick out of Maloney going dirty in an attack on Patel. But the worst is a video Maloney’s team posted online.

We thank our reader Sylvan Klein for first bringing this to our attention:

The video rushes through flimsy accusations so fast viewers never really see the evidence. Just the political brutality.

Patel calls it racist.

Maloney and Seawright Go Dirty, But Why?

“She (Maloney) did not attack my 170-plus pages of original policy proposals,” Patel added. “She did not respond to my request that she return donations she has received in previous campaigns from Donald Trump.”

Carolyn Maloney
Maloney on Roosevelt Island during the 2018 campaign.

And she has never explained her long involvement in the anti-vaccination movement, a scary operation that goes against science and endangers lives. Confronted during the 2018 campaign, Maloney reversed herself, but never explained or apologized.

Decisions by Maloney and Seawright to go dirty rather than deal with political reality mark a new low for both.

For Maloney, it’s a refusal to run on her record, but Seawright may not have a chance for even that.

Full Disclosure: I registered as a Democrat the first year I was old enough to vote, and except for a couple of years as an independent, I’ve been one ever since. And I have no doubt that, if the shoe were on the other foot, Republicans would do as much or worse.

But his is different because both Maloney and Seawright cultivate public personas that are warm and sensitive. Democrats bill themselves as the people party.

Maloney and Seawright go dirty, but they also go against the grain.

This is not the way I want to see my party do politics.

By David Stone

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3 thoughts on “Maloney, Seawright Go Dirty

  1. Mr. Stone may not have been informed that the Republican challenger to Assemblymember Rebecca Seawright went to court to prevent her ballot access in the Democratic Party and Working Families lines BEFORE the Board of Elections even took up the matter. With the help of the Manhattan Republican Party ( who paid the legal costs?), voters were prevented from choosing between the Democrat and the Republican. The Manhattan Supreme Court and the Appellate Division unanimously agreed with Seawright that her over 1,000 petition signatures in support of her candidacy handed in on time, were more than enough to justify a place on the ballot, even minus a “cover sheet”— an arcane administrative convenience at best, historically used in New York State to make ballot access more difficult for candidates. The Court of Appeals disagreed in a spilt decision. There may now may be a “Soviet Union-style” election in our district with just one Republican challenger on the ballot, carrying the banner of the Manhattan Republican Party known for its longstanding support for Donald Trump. It is not dirty politics to call that out; it is anti-democratic to argue for a “crowning” rather than an actual election.
    I hope that Assemblymember Seawright, who has been an outstanding legislator, will organize a write-in campaign or run as an independent candidate. In a vastly Democratic district, in a presidential election year, she will win. Mr. Stone has every right to support the Republican challenger, as his articles make clear to any objective reader. I just believe that we Democrats and independent voters would be better served with a choice in
    the 100th year anniversary of the passage of the constitutional amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote and therefore to run for office. Do not be afraid of choice. Let the voters decide!
    Linda Kane , NYC

    1. Repeating Seawright’s rationale does not address the issue here, that of using dirty politics. Nothing about challenging petitions by either party is unusual. It happens every election year, and it’s done by both parties.
      Seawright knows how the game is played, and the only striking exception this year is that a veteran politician who usually demonstrates great competence messed up. And that led, not to a single instance of accepting responsibility in any way, but to misleading attacks.
      ” Mr. Stone has every right to support the Republican challenger, as his articles make clear to any objective reader.” Any objective reader might note that we’ve covered Seawright with positive articles multiple times in the past and that there is not a single word of support for any candidate in this election. This is about tactics and our disappointment that Democrats unified in taking the low road.
      Thank you for your comment.

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