New York’s pointless ballot questions and one-sided judicial contests

But in several competitive city council races, there’s little on the ballot and turnout will be anemic, which is a great reason to get rid of annual elections. But that would require an amendment to the state constitution and only that changes to the constitution on this year’s vote they are much less consistent.

Proposition number one is called “Removal of Small City School Districts from Special Limitation on Constitutional Debt” in Article 8, Section 4. The goal is for these small urban school districts to be treated the same as all other school districts.

Proposition number two is catchily titled: “Extension of Exemption of Sewer Project Debt from Debt Limit,” also in Article 8, but in Section 5. This measure extends for 10 years the authority of localities to remove sewer construction debt from their constitutional debt limits.

Anyone who bothers to vote is advised to tick Yes on both.

As we’ve said before, a much better constitutional amendment would be to just hold elections in even-numbered years, or a much-needed reorganization of the state’s insane court system, or to have the appointed governor confirmed by both houses of the legislature. The Constituent Assembly, on the ballot in 2017, could have cleaned it all up, but insiders made sure voters said no. Instead we have to have silly exercises like voting down the drain on debt.

The voters will see judicial elections to the civil court and the state supreme court. That’s a terrible way to decide who gets to be a judge. Having the governor and mayor appoint qualified lawyers is much better, but that would require a constitutional amendment, which the Poles in the legislature will never do.

Every Democrat running for judge wins, except for one Republican candidate in Staten Island. The bottom line is that incumbent Manhattan Civil Court Judge Denise Dominguez will be re-elected to public service because her Democratic petitions were denied due to a missing cover letter.

Every primary and general election, as a public service, we say which judicial candidates completed it required financial form and mandatory campaign ethics coursewhich were also not approved Municipal Bar Association.

In the Bronx, Joaquin Orellana was not cleared by the bar while John Howard-Algarin missed practice

In Manhattan, Dominguez was delayed in her request for ethics training, while she was not even reviewed by the bar association, Yael Wilkofsky.

In Brooklyn, Caroline Piela Cohen and Saul Stein were late to practice and Rachel Freier never made it. Linda Wilson was late in releasing financial information, while Marva Brown and Lola Waterman never did. Babatunde Akowe never completed a disclosure form or ethics training and can’t lift a thumb from the bar, so he’s zero for three. But that’s okay, he’s still going to win because he faced no primary or GOP opponent.

In Queens, Michael Goldman was late for an ethics training course, while Karen Lin, Scott Dunn and Jessica Earle-Gargan missed ethics training. Evelyn Gong did not obtain the consent of the bar.

There are a handful of GOP candidates running in Brooklyn and Queens, all of whom fail at least one of these tests, but we won’t embarrass them because they’ll lose the election.

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