Even under the best of circumstances, the Republican/Conservative candidate for Bronx district attorney probably wouldn’t have had much of a chance in the election that will be held next Tuesday, November 3. Democrats hold a 13-to-one advantage over Republicans among active voters in the borough; twice as many Bronx voters list no party affiliation as identify as Republican or Conservative. But that hasn’t stopped lawyer Robert Siano from complaining about the lack of a debate against his opponent, Democrat Darcel Clark.
“With rising crime rates, and unfair court backlogs that force many to wait years before standing trial, a debate seems an obvious step in allowing Bronx voters to make their choice,” Siano said in a Wednesday morning press release.
The likely lack of any face-to-face clash between Siano and Clark doesn’t diminish the Republican’s slim chances so much as it further erases any pretense that the event next Tuesday is a genuine effort to give the Bronx’s 1 million residents a say in who prosecutes crimes in their county.
Siano’s release quoted Bronx GOP Chairman John Greaney as saying: “Despite what some people seem to believe, we live in a democracy.” Theoretically, he’s right. But Republicans haven’t done much more than Democrats to nurture democracy when it comes to the DA post. In recent elections, the GOP and other parties have been happy to cross-endorse incumbent DA Robert Johnson because he was sure to win.
It’s no surprise, then, that Bronx DA races attract few voters. The same is true in Queens, which also holds its DA races in years when no major races occur. Queens DA Richard Brown is running unopposed again this year on three ballot lines. (A real race DAs race is occurring in Staten Island this year, and there are contested races in several districts to fill city and state legislative seats.) The only reason the Bronx GOP has a man in this year’s race is that Johnson is stepping down, seeking a judgeship after some humorously sketchy party maneuvering.
But if the DA race is a shadow, the judicial elections also taking place on Tuesday are a dark room. Forty people are running to be judges in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens or Manhattan. But only 13 have bothered to submit information for the court system’s Voters’ Guide. Twenty-seven people are running for judicial terms of as long as 14 years without providing a shred of information.
Johnson, seeking election to the Supreme Court, has not submitted a bio, according to the court site.
Obviously, most voters aren’t going to look at the Voters Guide before they vote. Heck, most voters aren’t going to vote all. But it does seem odd that more effort isn’t made to give those who want to educate themselves before exercising their franchise a chance to do so.
Here’s a look at who’s running to go or stay on the bench and whether they’ve sent in their info:
Candidates Listed in the State Court Voters’ Guide
Go to the guide to read the bios that have been submitted
|Anthony Caronna||Queens||Supreme Court||Eleventh Judicial District||NO|
|Duane A. Hart||Queens||Supreme Court||Eleventh Judicial District||NO|
|Joseph F. Kasper||Queens||NYC Civil Court||Queens County : County Wide||NO|
|Kevin J. Hanratty||Queens||NYC Civil Court||Queens County : County Wide||NO|
|Maureen A. Healy||Queens||NYC Civil Court||Queens County : County Wide||NO|
|Michael A. O’Reilly||Queens||NYC Civil Court||Queens County : County Wide||NO|
|Peter J. O’Donoghue||Queens||Supreme Court||Eleventh Judicial District||NO|
|Ushir Pandit-Durant||Queens||NYC Civil Court||Queens County : County Wide||NO|
|Laurentina McKetney Butler||Queens||NYC Civil Court||Queens County : County Wide||YES|
|Martin Eliot Ritholtz||Queens||Supreme Court||Eleventh Judicial District||YES|
|Peter F. Vallone_ Jr||Queens||NYC Civil Court||Queens County : 3rd District||YES|
|Ben Barbato||Bronx||NYC Civil Court||Bronx County : County Wide||NO|
|Christopher B. Garvey||Bronx||Supreme Court||Twelfth Judicial District||NO|
|Dianne Renwick||Bronx||Supreme Court||Twelfth Judicial District||NO|
|Guy T. Parisi||Bronx||Supreme Court||Twelfth Judicial District||NO|
|Lizbeth Gonzalez||Bronx||Supreme Court||Twelfth Judicial District||NO|
|Robert T. Johnson||Bronx||Supreme Court||Twelfth Judicial District||NO|
|Ruben Franco||Bronx||Supreme Court||Twelfth Judicial District||NO|
|Sallie Manzanette-Daniels||Bronx||Supreme Court||Twelfth Judicial District||NO|
|Marsha D. Michael||Bronx||NYC Civil Court||Bronx County : County Wide||YES|
|Mitchell J. Danziger||Bronx||Supreme Court||Twelfth Judicial District||YES|
|Stephen I. Mayo||Bronx||Supreme Court||Twelfth Judicial District||YES|
|Dweynie E. Paul||Brooklyn||NYC Civil Court||Kings County : 2nd District||NO|
|Michael Gerstein||Brooklyn||NYC Civil Court||Kings County : 6th District||NO|
|Noach Dear||Brooklyn||Supreme Court||Second Judicial District||NO|
|Thomas P. Aliotta||Brooklyn||Supreme Court||Second Judicial District||NO|
|Vincent F. Martusciello||Brooklyn||NYC Civil Court||Kings County : County Wide||NO|
|Carolyn Walker-Diallo||Brooklyn||NYC Civil Court||Kings County : 7th District||YES|
|Debra Silber||Brooklyn||Supreme Court||Second Judicial District||YES|
|Genine D. Edwards||Brooklyn||Supreme Court||Second Judicial District||YES|
|Lorna Jean McAllister||Brooklyn||NYC Civil Court||Kings County : County Wide||YES|
|Pamela L. Fisher||Brooklyn||Supreme Court||Second Judicial District||YES|
|Arlene Bluth||New York||Supreme Court||First Judicial District||NO|
|Lisa S. Headley||New York||NYC Civil Court||New York County : 8th District||NO|
|Lyle E. Frank||New York||NYC Civil Court||New York County : 2nd District||NO|
|Raymond Bruce||New York||Supreme Court||First Judicial District||NO|
|Tanya Kennedy||New York||Supreme Court||First Judicial District||NO|
|Ta-Tanisha James||New York||NYC Civil Court||New York County : County Wide||NO|
|Arthur Fredericks Engoron||New York||Supreme Court||First Judicial District||YES|
|Barbara R. Kapnick||New York||Supreme Court||First Judicial District||YES|