Albany County: Criminalizing Democracy

I play by the rules…but anyone who knows me knows that those rules being applied to me better damn well apply to everyone else. For instance, when the Democrats held control of the Senate Chamber, I was suddenly prohibited from using my laptop in the chamber after an article that was not too favorable to the “majority.” (Yeah, I relayed the honest truth of the chamber games!) However, every other person in the peanut gallery was permitted to, not only bring the laptop into the chamber, they were permitted to utilize it.  

The day after the GOP regained the reins, the freedom of honest reporting was returned to the chamber…for everyone….but I was mostly alone in my triumph. 

It is with this inconsistent application of rules that my attention is drawn to the Albany County Board of Elections and their treatment of the politically unfavorable candidates. Case in point, Sam Coleman. 

 

Coleman was challenging the politically docile Mert Simpson (docile being a favorable trait for a political pawn) when he became the victim of Albany politics. I was advised by an insider that the immediate response to Coleman’s challenge was “David” (DA Soares) would take care of him. (And that’s not a good thing for candidates opposing the politically favored.) So, I sat back watched the progress. 

Soon, I learned that the Sheriff’s Chief Deputy, Kerry Thompson ($90K) (with blood connections to the DA’s office) “investigated” candidate Coleman’s place of residence. In the linked reports, candidate Coleman is listed as the “suspect” as Thompson surveils his comings and goings. Now, put yourself in candidate Coleman’s situation…how would you like it if a Chief in the Sheriff’s department was following you around….would you like it even less if you had a perfectly legal but nonconventional lifestyle? I think you might. 

Think about this, the Board of Elections, supposedly neutral in political battles, took the initiative to conduct their own investigation (funded by the Sheriff’s Department) of residence for only one candidate seems like political targeting…and why, oh why, would this trivial residence “investigation” targeting Coleman be conducted by a $90K a year Chief Deputy of the Albany Sheriff’s Office (who is lucky that he’s politically connected!!) (Read some stuff on that “lucky” thing here and here.) 

Take a gander at this “incident report” in which a $90K a year Chief Deputy with the Sheriff’s department spent a span of 7 days investigating a candidate’s address. I was pleased to see his supervisor had NOT signed off on the report. Where I’m from, this kind of this behavior is not only considered unethical, it is considered illegal. Of course, need I remind you, we are in Albany County....New York. As deep in political shit as a citizen can possibly be. 

Here’s the “Incident Report.” I’m sure BOE does this to verify everyone’s address…not just a candidate to which they are politically opposed. I’d love to see the “Incident Reports” in the rest of the candidates…let’s see that’s over 60 candidates for the County Legislature…at, minimally a week of a $90K Chief Deputy’s time, that’s more than $90K investment in applying the same residential standards to all candidates equally. Or….not. 

UPDATE: I have  been told that Coleman attended an administrative hearing re: his probation yesterday. In that, he was informed by probation that DA Soares wants them to violate Coleman and also that Judge Herrick "Don't like him either." Now, I know Judge Herrick...he would never hold a personal dislike for Mr. Coleman that he would share with anyone from the DA's office....Soares' DA Office in particular. Probation shared this targetting effort by the DA with Coleman and added, they had no reason to violate him.

What's the DA gonna do next to protect Mert Simpson's legislative seat? Stay tuned.

 

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