GOP Tries To Bribe Right-To-Life Candidate?

This is from an article published in the NY Times:

A third-party candidate in the race for Westchester district attorney said on Monday that he had been approached by a person with ties to the Republican candidate, Janet DiFiore, and asked to bow out of the race in exchange for a job in Mrs. DiFiore’s office, should she win.

The candidate, Anthony J. DeCintio, Jr., said the offer to drop out of the race had come late last month during a phone conversation with a friend who was calling on behalf of Mrs. DiFiore’s husband, Dennis Glazer. Mr. Glazer, a lawyer in New York City, had been concerned that Mr. DeCintio would cost his wife crucial votes in November.

Mr. DeCintio is running on the Right to Life ticket, which is expected to attract a small percentage of Westchester County voters who might otherwise support Mrs. DiFiore.

Mr. DeCintio, a malpractice lawyer who lives in Tuckahoe, said he declined what he believed to be an offer of a bribe and then reported the phone call to an agent at the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“I was stunned,” he said. “This was on the last day that I could have withdrawn my name from the ballot, and they basically called me up and said it was a close election, and that I’d have a free hand in the district attorney’s office if I backed out.”

Mr. DeCintio said the phone call, on Aug. 26, was from Philip White, the former mayor of Tuckahoe and a longtime friend of his and Mr. Glazer’s. In an interview yesterday, Mr. White confirmed that he made the phone call to Mr. DeCintio at Mr. Glazer’s request, to express concern that he might siphon votes from Mrs. DiFiore. But he denied extending the offer of a job or favors from Mrs. DiFiore or her husband.

“I didn’t offer him any favors other than her supporting any problems that he might have,” Mr. White said. “I told him it’s always nice to have a friend.”

A phone call to Mrs. DiFiore’s office yesterday was returned by Mr. Glazer. He said that he made a phone call to Mr. White in late August, asking him whether he knew Mr. DeCintio and complaining that his entrance into the race would be a blow to his wife’s campaign. During that conversation, he said, Mr. White volunteered to make a friendly phone call to Mr. DeCintio, but he never suggested that he extend the candidate any favors or friendship.

“The message was ‘you may be drawing votes away from the best candidate, and that’s not good for anybody in Westchester,’ ” Mr. Glazer said. “I said he would have an open ear, or an open door, about somebody listening to concerns he had, or any other concerns about criminal activity, but not a friend. My wife doesn’t make friends through third parties. Neither do I.”

But Mr. DeCintio said the purpose of the phone call was clear. Mrs. DiFiore, who lives in Bronxville, is a former assistant district attorney who resigned as a State Supreme Court justice to pursue the seat of Jeanine F. Pirro, who has announced her intention to run against Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2006. Mrs. DiFiore has been in a close race with Tony Castro, the Democratic challenger in a county that is increasingly willing to vote for Democrats.

Only days after Mr. DeCintio received the phone call, lawyers for Mrs. DiFiore mounted a campaign to remove the Right to Life party from the ballot, saying it did not have the 1,500 petitions needed to remain on it. Had the challenge succeeded, it could have cleared the way for Mrs. DiFiore to win the 2 to 5 percent of voters who typically vote for the Right to Life party. But the county board of elections ruled in favor of the party on Sept. 16.

5 Responses to “GOP Tries To Bribe Right-To-Life Candidate?”

  1. Rock Howard Says:

    This is yet another argument for Approval Voting instead of the archaic Plurality Voting system that currently hampers our democracy. I candidate who garners 5% or less support should not be in a position where they control the outcome of the race. With Approval Voting a voter can vote for any number of candidates and the candidate who gets the most votes wins.

    (Approval Voting is very different from “Instant Runoff” voting which is based on ranking the candidates and still suffers from the spoiler effect. Nor is it “cumulative voting” where a voter can pile up votes on a single candidate. Approval is much simpler. Just vote YES for every candidate that you approve of and NO for all of the others. It is really that simple.)

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