During last night’s State Senate debate, Connor sidetracked during time allotted for a state budget conversation to discuss allegations that as an election lawyer his basic task is to kick people off the ballot (fast forward to about 1:12 in this clip):
This myth that election lawyers all we do is kick people off the ballot. Most of my cases have been defending someone and keeping them on the ballot defending them against someone the rules, particularly the old rules that were oppressive… Most of the work i do includes ballot recounts, defending candidates who someone is trying to kick off the ballot.
While Connor’s statement is fairly accurate regarding his work for others, Ken Diamondstone, Connor’s 2006 opponent for the Democratic nomination and current City Council candidate would disagree as evidenced in this press release from August ’06:
The New York State Supreme Court ruled today that Ken Diamondstone, candidate for the 25th state senate district, is legally eligible to appear on the ballot as a candidate in the primary and general elections. Diamondstone had been challenged by his opponent Martin Connor, not on the issues and needs of the constituents, but rather by trying to limit Diamondstone’s access to the ballot through legal action.
“My opponent’s attempt to block my access to the ballot was an act of desperation,” said Diamondstone. “The court decision proves that this type of action is not only unethical and undemocratic, but that, ultimately, the Board of Elections overstepped their bounds in removing me from the ballot. This entire process was a tremendous waste of time, money and resources and a perfect example of why we need immediate reform in Albany.”
This action was business as usual for Martin Connor and is another installment in a long line of unethical and undemocratic actions that prove he is part of the problem in Albany. From misusing campaign funds to buy a car, to making a living on a legal practice devoted to knocking candidates off the ballot, Connor represents the worst of what is wrong in Albany.
Diamondstone proved in court that he moved into the district before the legal deadline of November 7, 2003 through testimony and evidence such as a lease signed for November 1, 2003 and a receipt from Ken’s landlord showing payment for the apartment for the same date.
Diamondstone’s challenge to Connor’s incumbency was his most significant battle since redistricting caused him to face off against fellow State Senator Thomas J. Bartosiewicz in 1982.