Hysterical chants of “ROW B, ROW B, ROW B …” echoed throughout the room, a proverbial backroom filled with IP bigwigs - the same folks who gave us Pataki four years earlier (the ever resourceful Tommy G. booted him off the line in the party’s first ever Primary race) and now the party leaders were turning over the Independence Party’s coveted ROW C (ROW is a misnomer, NY’s ballot-box scheme is vertical rather then horizontal) to the Democrats for Spitzer’s gubernatorial run. The IP brain-trust figured the popular Democrat would draw disaffected Republicans to his standard in very large numbers. Since it’s no secret that Republicans in general, would rather cutoff their voting arm then pull the Democratic leaver, a stampede to the IP’s ROW C would be the result, and the possibility of moving up at the ballot-box seemed vividly real. So what happened? Spitzer couldn’t draw flies on the Independence line. Instead, the Democratic Party’s lefty sandlot team, the Working Families Party, got all the action. In New York City, the Working Families Party with a citywide enrollment of 12,007 drew 74,221 votes or an astounding 600% of membership to votes cast ratio (compared to the IP’s citywide enrollment of 96,939 which drew 36,882 votes, a paltry 38% ratio.) Clearly, the lack of leadership, and the taint of scandal have set the Independence Party aimlessly adrift in New York City. Independence is a party first and foremost of mavericks, hard nosed centrists fed up with Democrat and Republican excess. The figures show our self-serving leadership may broker ROW C time after time, but the membership itself wont be spoon fed big-party tripe, and is not for sale. An election fiasco of this magnitude requires the mass resignation of the State Committee. Let’s start again fresh.

–joseph tiraco


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