Green Party Congressional Candidate Joseph Diaferia Repeats Criticism Of Petition Challenges
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 23, 2012
Joseph Diaferia, the Green Party candidate for Congress from New York’s 16th District has reiterated his call for a halt to challenges of designating petitions.
Diaferia, 51, who is seeking to represent lower Westchester and the northern Bronx in the House of Representatives, charged that the practice of petition challenging is cowardly and politically repressive as it deprives voters of choices and silences independent viewpoints. Said Diaferia, “Elections should be decided by voters in both primary and general elections, and not by having political campaigns extinguished through the use of arcane and contemptible administrative tactics.” Diaferia added, “If designating petitions are deficient or flawed, it is the Board of Elections’ responsibility to make that determination. However, direct challenges among candidates for the sole purpose of eliminating opposition, are directly undemocratic and of a character reminiscent of Nixonian legerdemain of yesteryear.”
Regarding challenges to his petitions and those of other candidates running in the 16th Congressional District, Diaferia challenged his presumed Democratic opponent Rep. Eliot Engel (D-Bronx) to explain the consistency of championing democratic causes in Kosovo, Iraq, and elsewhere while seeking to trample the democratic process here at home. “Whatever his motivation, [Engel] has taken or supported initiatives to promote democracy in conflict-wracked regions of the world; that he would authorize or countenance the obstruction of democracy in his own district is singularly unconscionable”, stated Diaferia.
Asked how he could be certain as to the origin of the challenge to his petitions, Diaferia answered, “Inasmuch as State Board of Elections documents indicate Engel confidante Arnie Linhardt as the objector, it is not much to conclude that the Congressman has put his imprimatur this challenge”. Diaferia further stated that in the interest of fairness he is calling upon Amit Sarkar to desist in his challenge to Mr. Engel’s nominating petitions.
Joseph Diaferia, a college professor and former Democratic nominee for a seat on the Westchester County Board of Legislators, quietly entered the race for the House seat in mid-March. He plans to make the causal interrelation between energy and foreign policy, and truth in reporting on U.S. foreign policy, the central issues of his campaign.
Campaign photo can be located here: