View Full Version : (Black, African-american) Senator Bill Perkins accused of ‘cheating’ to get name first on ballot

The Bobster
01-23-2017, 08:35 AM

Senator accused of ‘cheating’ to get name first on ballot
By Carl Campanile
January 22, 2017 | 10:32pm

State Sen. Bill Perkins Ben Parker

State Sen. Bill Perkins is being accused of filing fraudulent petitions in an attempt to get his name put first on the ballot in the Feb. 14 special election for the vacant City Council seat in Harlem.

Under laws for a special election, the candidate who files first with a valid number of voter signatures is automatically placed on top of the ballot, a coup in a race with as many as 10 candidates.

But a new lawsuit claims that the Perkins campaign collected as many as 750 signatures on petitions distributed Jan. 1 and Jan. 2 with a blank date on it — before Mayor de Blasio called the Feb. 14 special election on Jan. 3.

The petitions were then post-dated to make it appear they were collected on Jan. 3, according to the suit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.

The suit seeks to invalidate the petitions and have Perkins, a favorite to win the seat, removed from the ballot.

Perkins is a pal of Mayor de Blasio. He served in the City Council with de Blasio before his election to the state Senate in 2006 and was one of the first elected Democrats to back de Blasio’s bid for mayor in 2013.

The suit, filed by Karim Chapman, a voter backing rival Marvin Holland, accuses the Perkins campaign of massive and deliberated voter fraud to get a head start over other candidates in collecting voter signatures to qualify for the ballot under the “Community First” banner. Candidates are required to collect 450 valid signatures for ballot access.

Holland campaign aides said they smelled a rat when they went door knocking in Harlem to collect voter signatures, only to hear from residents that the Perkins campaign had approached them the prior weekend — before the special election date was set.

“Committing fraud this planned-out took more work than it would have taken to get on the ballot legally. The voters of Harlem deserve more respect than this,” said Holland election lawyer Sarah Steiner.

“It’s shameful when a career politician puts himself above the law and let’s his campaign commit blatant and obvious fraud for his own personal gain. Maybe that’s what he’s learned after being steeped in Albany’s culture of corruption,’’ added Steiner.

The Perkins camp dismissed the petition suit as frivolous and filled with false accusations. :rolleyes:

“It’s sad and disappointing that the first thing this candidate with no record in the community does is hire lawyers, hurl Trump-like falsehoods :mad: and try to throw people off the ballot,” said Perkins campaign spokesman Richard Fife.

“We think it is great that people have followed Barack Obama’s advice — picking up a clipboard and getting involved. Let the people decide.”

The special election is being held to fill the seat vacated by Inez Dickens, who was elected to the state Assembly last fall.

Holland, a longtime transit worker, is political director of Transport Workers Union/Local 100.

In another bizarre twist to the race, gadfly Jimmy McMillan of “The Rent is Too Damn High Party” is backing a candidate supported by the local Republican Party, Dawn Simmons.

Candidates are barred from running under partisan party lines in a special election.