Hat Tip to Jill Terreri at Vote Up!
Via Wham 13
If you see Sean Carroll at the mall, on the street, or pumping gas in your neighborhood, give the man a handshake from the residents of NY 29th Congressional District. Carroll recently confronted Governor David Patterson about his dithering on calling a special election for NY's 29th Congressional District. The district has been without representation since before the March health care vote and should Patterson have its way, may miss a $125 billion jobs bill and a vote on cap and trade legislation.
In the interview, Patterson had the following excuses to support his decision:
Still, when asked why he didn't schedule a special election promptly so as to offer constituents representation right away, the Governor said:
"Well it could've been (scheduled right away) but when you have no more people voting in a special election than in a school board election I don't think a representative number of the population is getting a chance to vote."
When asked if politics played a role, seeing as how local Democrats took more than a month to rally behind a candidate, the Governor responded:
"No, it's been pretty consistent with how I have called special elections except in cases where it's so early in the session that you don't want an empty seat for six or seven months."
Sean Carroll rebuts however:
In glancing at two special elections to fill congressional seats in New York over the past two years, one finds that the Governor is correct about voter turnout. However, these two examples also show that a special election on Election Day, or in March, doesn't appear to greatly change turnout.
(Keep in mind 2008 was a Presidential Election year)
Special Election scheduled in March to replace Kirsten Gillibrand who was appointed U.S. Senator in January 2009.
Scott Murphy (D) defeated Jim Tedisco (R)
'09 Special: 160,940
2008 General: 311,682
2006 General: 235,722
Special Election scheduled for Election Day to replace John McHugh (R) who resigned in September 2009 to take a job with the U.S. Army.
Bill Owens (D) defeated Doug Hoffman (C) - Dede Scozzafava's (R) withdrew.
'09 Special: 151,272
2008 General: 218,900
2006 General: 169,099
The truth is that the only possible motives for holding up an election are political and Democrat candidate Matt Zeller should be pressed for an appropriate response for why he has supported the governor.