Suffolk County Republican and Democratic incumbents teamed up to launch a spectacular and successful power grab recently. A 1993 local law limited elected County officials to 12 consecutive years in office. But a lawsuit supported by both parties struck down the term limits. Outraged by the move, Suffolk County Libertarians just announced their own slate of candidates, drafted to run against the three incumbents.
The Lawsuit and verdict
Last year, three incumbent Suffolk County elected officials sued their own county to have its 20-year-old Term Limit law ruled un-Constitutional. The Law limited County office holders to 12 consecutive years in the same office. The Suffolk County plaintiffs were District Attorney Thomas Spota, Sheriff Vincent Demarco, and County Clerk Judith Pascale.
In September, a Long Island judge agreed, ruling that County voters had no right to make their own county laws regarding elections and term limits. The court ruled that only the state has the authority to make laws governing County-wide elections, even though the office holders aren’t elected by or serve anyone but the residents of that County.
Establishment vs. Opposition
For those who argue that the Republican and Democratic Parties are secretly in cahoots with each other, the above lawsuit and ensuing events seem to lend credence to their suspicions. As described by Peter Nichols in his Huntington Patch column, “After the Suffolk legislature hires a politically connected patsy for its defense, it mysteriously refuses to appeal the judge’s decision which overturned a 20 year old referendum, laughably citing “budget” constraints.”
Not only does it seem Suffolk County officials sabotaged their own voters’ will, but it also looks like the two establishment parties are really just one united force. As Nichols goes onto explain, “Then, as if on cue, both major parties cross endorse the ‘Gang of Three’, thereby making the election process a farce.” That’s what local residents have begun calling the three officials who successfully challenged the County’s term limits law – the ‘Gang of Three’.
Libertarian slate recruited
While many libertarians are split over the issue of term limits, the liberty-loving voting block is united in its opposition to dirty backroom deals between Republicans and Democrats that insure their hold on power forever. The local Libertarian Party was the first to spring into action, drafting its own slate of candidates to run against the establishment’s ‘Gang of Three’.
In a press release issued by the Suffolk County Libertarian Party, the group announced that it had recruited three candidates to challenge Spota, Demarco and Pascale. These aren’t just any old candidates either. Each one has over 20 years of experience taking on the establishment and its powerful party leaders.
The Libertarian candidates
In a sign that rank and file Libertarians are fired-up over the suspicious series of events that suddenly put state officials in charge of county offices, the party has lined up three experienced and long-time corruption-busters to challenge the allied incumbents.
For County Sheriff – Michael Houze
The father of two boys was born in Greenberg, Indiana and studied Political Science at Indiana University. Houze moved to Long Island in 2005 and moved to South Huntington in 2006. He has been a member of the Libertarian Party since 1993 where he served as Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary. He’s been a certified NRA firearms instructor since 1988.
For County District Attorney – Chris Garvey
A graduate of Columbia University and Benjamin N. Cardoza School of Law, Garvey is currently a patent attorney at a Roslyn, NY law firm. He was the Libertarian candidate for Suffolk County DA in 2009, Attorney General in 2006, and for Governor in 1998. He is also a US Merchant Marine Officer and sailing instructor.
For County Clerk – Audrey Capozzi
The two-decade Libertarian Party activist from Bellport, NY has served as Vice Chair and Treasurer of the New York Libertarian Party. The Libertarian official has spent the past 20 years being a voice on the national stage for the party and served on numerous committees, as well as organizing a number of state conventions.
For more information on the above candidates, visit the Suffolk County Libertarian Party.
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