News Coverage on Elections

New York Post

Tricky move by pol’s campaign boss

David Seifman
Monday, September 12, 2011

Talk about getting a leg up on the competition.

The campaign manager for Rafael Espinal -- a candidate in tomorrow’s special election to replace state Assemblyman Darryl Towns -- got himself named a site monitor for the Board of Elections in the very same Brooklyn district where he is running.

Election officials confirmed Michael Olmeda’s amazing double role this week.

Site monitors supervise poll inspectors, and political insiders said they had never heard of such a set-up, where a top official of one campaign was helping oversee an election involving his own candidate.

It would have been a sweet deal, but the Board of Elections got wind of it Friday and pulled Olmeda’s credentials.

Espinal works as chief of staff to City Councilman Erik Dilan and is supported by Brooklyn Democratic leader Vito Lopez.

Also in the race are community organizer Jesus Gonzalez and Deidra Towns, the sister of ex-state Assemblyman Darryl Towns.

Olmeda didn’t return calls for comment.

Press Clip Relevance

This is an example of how the partisan appointment process preserved in the New York State Board of Elections by the New York State Constitution can allow one candidate to gain a perceived or actual advantage over others.



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