SAMUEL H. SLOAN,
No. 04 Civ. 2946 (DGT)
ROBERT CONROY, FRAN MILLER, PAMELA TEXADA, KING'S COUNTY INDEPENDENCE PARTY, STATE COMMITTEE OF THE INDEPENDENCE PARTY OF NEW YORK, FRANK M. MacKAY, LENORA FULANI, DIANE HASLETT RUDIANO, PETER S. KOSINSKI, and CAROL BERMAN, NEIL W. KELLERHER, HELENA MOSES DONOHUE and EVELYN J. ACQUILA, Commissioners of Elections, Constituting the New York State Board of Elections, and New York City Commissioners of Elections NERO GRAHAM, FREDERIC M. UMANE, WEYMAN A. CAREY, MICHAEL J. CILMI, MARK B. HERMAN, DOUGLAS A. KELLNER, TERRENCE C. O'CONNOR, NANCY MOTTOLA-SCHACHER, STEPHAN H. WEINER.
Samuel H. Sloan alleges:
1. He is the plaintiff in the above entitled action. He is a candidate for election to the United States Congress from the 10th Congressional District, which is entirely in Brooklyn. The present incumbent is Edolphus Towns. Plaintiff resides at 920 Belmont Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11208. His telephone number is (718) 277-6957.
2. Plaintiff is a registered voter with no party enrollment. Plaintiff is known as a blank voter, which means that he is registered to vote but is not a member of any recognized political party.
3. On June 5, 2003, the State Committee of the Independence Party of New York and Frank MacKay, its chairman, filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York entitled State Committee of the Independence Party of New York, Frank MacKay, et al vs. Berman, et al, 03 Civ 4123. In its complaint, the plaintiffs demanded that the defendants "Open Independence Party Primary Elections for statewide offices to participation by voters who are not members of any political party."
4. This complaint resulted in a judgment in their favor reported as Independence Party vs. Berman, 294 F. Supp 2d 518 (SDNY 2003). That decision relied upon Tashjian v. Republican Party of Connecticut, 479 U.S. 208 (1986).
5. The Plaintiff herein, Samuel H. Sloan, wishes to take advantage of and enforce the rights obtained as a result of the aforementioned decisions by running as a candidate in the primary election of the Independence Party of New York and, if he prevails, by running in the general election in November as a candidate of the Independence Party. However, the Independence Party claims, wrongly, that they have opened a one-way street and that they are only allowing non-enrolled voters to vote for their selected candidates. They claim that non-enrolled voters may not run against the candidates they have selected. In short, they claim that they have opened a one-way street and that they have the right to associate with the non-enrolled voters but that the non-enrolled voters have no rights to associate with them.
6. This action is brought under 42 USC 1985 (3) and 42 USC 1983 and 42 USC 1973 and the Voting Rights Acts and Amendment XV of the Constitution of the United States and New York State Election Law. Federal Jurisdiction of this action in claimed under 28 USC 1331, 28 USC 1343 and 42 USC 1983. Venue lies in this district under 28 USC 1391 (b). (Note: Plaintiff would have no objection to a transfer of venue to Brooklyn if the court deems it appropriate. This court was selected because most of the related or relevant election law cases have been heard or are being heard in this district plus the New York City Board of Elections is located at 32 Broadway which is in this district. However, since plaintiff is running for Congress in a Congressional District which is located in Brooklyn, venue might lie there as well.)
7. As a second cause of action, Plaintiff has discovered that many enrolled members of the Independence Party enrolled essentially by mistake. On the form provided by the New York City Board of Elections, they checked the box labeled "INDEPENDENCE PARTY" and not the box labeled "I DO NOT WISH TO ENROLL IN A PARTY" because they wished to register as an independent voter, not as a member of any political party. They were surprised which they started receiving mail from the Independence Party. It is now apparent that the Independence Party is committing a fraud upon the voters. The Independence Party claims to be the third largest political party in New York State and to have 300,000 members, but the party has gotten many of the voters because of mistakes arising from their misleading name. The Independence Party should be required to change their name, if it continues to refuse to allow a truly independent candidate such as Plaintiff to run. The Independence Party insiders currently tend to be dominated by Marxists-Leninists, including Lenora Fulani, a former presidential candidate and black nationalist Marxist. The leadership is mostly from the International Workers Party, a Marxist organization. This is a relatively new development, as this group took control of the party in 2002. The party is now considering running Peter Camejo, an avowed Communist who has been a member of numerous organizations including the Young Communist League and the W.E.B. Du Bois Club, as its candidate for Vice-President of the United States. The Independence Party should not be allowed to keep its present name if it continues to mislead the voters by pretending to represent independent voters such as Plaintiff, when it does not.
8. In March, 2004, Plaintiff was asked by Gally Lim, a Republican Party political activist and the person who collected the most signatures of any person in both the Bloomberg campaign for Mayor and in the Pataki Campaigns, to become a candidate for US Congress, since the Republican Party had no candidate at that time. On Thursday, March 31, 2004, Gally Lim took Plaintiff and his baby to a cocktail party in Mill Basin, Brooklyn, featuring Mayor Bloomberg. Mayor Bloomberg held the baby, Sandra Sloan, aged 2, in his arms for a photo opportunity by the assembled news photographers.
9. Because of the support of Gally Lim, a prodigious collector of signatures, Plaintiff decided to run for election and so notified almost all of the leaders of the Republican Party in Brooklyn. One of those leaders in turn referred Plaintiff to the Independence Party and contacted them in his behalf.
10. On April 3, 2004, Plaintiff was put in contact with Robert Conroy, the Chairman of the King's County Independence Party. Plaintiff declared his candidacy and Mr. Conroy agreed to schedule his appearance before their screening committee. Later, Mr. Conroy invited Plaintiff to a candidate's screening to be held on Saturday Morning, May 22, 2004 at 10:15 AM at The Brooklyn Social Therapy office located at 121 Prospect Place, #1 (by Flatbush Avenue). The meeting place was arranged by Lenora Fulani.
11. Plaintiff appeared at 121 Prospect Place at 10:15 AM on May 22, 2004 but the place was empty. Neither Lenora Fulani nor Robert Conroy nor anybody else was there. Plaintiff thereafter reached Robert Conroy by telephone. Mr. Conroy told Plaintiff that the candidate's screening would have to be postponed but he was invited to a fundraiser at 3:00 PM the same day at the Magnetic Field Cocktail Lounge at 97 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn Heights, New York. Mr. Conroy requested a donation of $250.
12. Plaintiff attended the fundraiser at 97 Atlantic Avenue with his wife and baby. However, Plaintiff did not have $250, and so only donated $20. At that fund raiser, Plaintiff met Robert Conroy, Frank MacKay, possibly Lenora Fulani and many other Independence Party Activists, plus other Candidates and Naderites.
13. Some of the other candidates informed Plaintiff that there had been a candidate's screening that day, but at a different location than 121 Prospect Place.
14. Plaintiff was next told that the candidate's screening would take place on Friday May 28 or Saturday May 29. However, that screening later was cancelled for those dates as well.
15. Finally, Robert Conroy informed plaintiff that he could not have a candidate's screening in person, but only by conference telephone call. The conference call took place on the weekend of June 5. The only persons on the call were Robert Conroy, Fran Miller and Pam Texada.
16. The questions they asked were surprising. The committee kept asking Plaintiff how much in the way of "resources", by which they obviously meant money, could he or his family provide for the campaign and for the party. They also wanted to know if there were any neighborhood political groups that could provide money for the campaign, or a list of names that they could call to ask for donations. Essentially, they wanted to sell their endorsement. They also wanted to know if Plaintiff was willing to make his number one campaign issue the right of Ralph Nader to participate in the presidential debates against Bush and Kerry. On this last point, Plaintiff said that he was certainly willing to make this an issue but he felt that the voters in the 10th Congressional District were more concerned with other issues such as the War in Iraq. They said that they did not want Plaintiff to collect signatures to get on the ballot and that the party itself would obtain the signatures on the petitions.
17. On Saturday, June 12, 2004, well after the petitioning process had already started, Robert Conroy called to tell Plaintiff that he had been rejected by his committee. Robert Conroy stated that the main reason that they rejected Plaintiff was that Plaintiff said that he is going to try to win the election and to be elected to Congress. Robert Conroy said that the Independence Party does not want candidates who are trying to win. He said that Plaintiff was rejected even though they do not have another candidate who wants to run in the Tenth Congressional District. He said that Plaintiff was denied a "Wilson-Pakula".
18. Because of the near impossibility of obtaining the 3500 signatures which a non-party member is required to obtain to get on the ballot, Plaintiff has sought the nomination of various political parties, including the Independence Party, because the Independence Party advertises itself as the party of the non-enrolled voters. In leaflets and literature distributed by the Independence Party, they have consistently characterized themselves as the party of the non-enrolled voters. They also filed a case in this court, Independence Party vs. Berman, 03 Civ. 4123 (SDNY) in which they stated that they are the party of the non-enrolled voters and that therefore all non-enrolled voters were entitled to vote in their primary elections.
19. Plaintiff maintains that if non-enrolled voters are entitled to vote, they are also entitled to run. For example, any person entitled to vote in a Democratic Party Primary can also run in that primary. Similarly, any person entitled to vote in a Republican Party Primary can also run for election in that primary. The Independence Party is not allowed to create a new special class of voters who are allowed to vote but are not allowed to run. Since the rules of the Independence Party and the decisions of the courts give the Plaintiff the right to vote in an Independence Party Primary, therefore Plaintiff is also allowed to run in that primary.
20. The Tenth Congressional District has the following numbers of registered voters: Republican 17636, Democratic 251608, Independence 5678, Conservative 849, Working Families 714, Blank 38,853. Total registered voters 318,387.
21. In order to get on the ballot as an Independence Party candidate, Plaintiff must obtain the signatures of 5% of the registered Independence Party members in his district, which is exactly 284 signatures. Plaintiff has been intending to obtain these 284 signatures himself. However, the Independence Party has refused to grant Plaintiff a "Wilson-Pikula".
22. The time for petitioning started on June 8 and finishes on July 15, 2004. It is a matter of great urgency that Plaintiff be allowed to start collecting signatures now and indeed it is almost too late.
23. The defendants Robert Conroy, Fran Miller, Pam Texada, King's County Independence Party, State Committee of the Independence Party of New York, Frank M. MacKay and Lenora Fulani are engaged in a plan or conspiracy to defraud the voters of New York State including the Plaintiff in violation of 1983 and 42 USC 1985 (3) and the Voting Rights Acts and all that jazz by claiming to be the party of independent voters whereas in reality the leadership of the Independence Party in New York City consists primarily of left-wingers including Communists, Socialists, Marxist-Leninists, Leninist-Marxists, Naderites, Trotskyites, and various other red political persuasions. Since they know that the voters of New York State would never vote for them if they knew what they really were, they have embarked on a plan or conspiracy to gain political power by pretending to be Independent, much as many Socialists groups have been able to mislead the voters by calling themselves "The People's Party". Rulings of the New York Board of Elections prohibit them from using the name People's Party, so they call themselves the Independence Party instead.
24. Plaintiff is a victim of this fraud and conspiracy because he solicited the nomination of the Independence Party because he did not know what they really were. In contrast, by way of example, the Working Families Party is openly left-wing and therefore Plaintiff did not solicit their nomination.
25. The defendants Robert Conroy, Fran Miller, Pam Texada, King's County Independence Party, State Committee of the Independence Party of New York, Frank M. MacKay and Lenora Fulani have violated various provisions of the Voting Rights Acts by purporting to create a special class of voters who can vote but cannot run. They claim the right to allow non-enrolled voters to vote ONLY in state-wide primary elections, but not in other primary elections such as elections for US Congress and State Assembly. They claim to have created a class of voters who can vote but cannot run, which includes the plaintiff, and they also claim to have created a class of voters who can vote in the state wide primary elections such as the current election for US Senate where Charles Schumer is the Independence Party candidate but not in non-state wide elections such as elections for US Congress. The creation of these special classes is a violation of the Constitution and Laws of the United States. Once the camel has been invited to stick his nose into the tent, the rest of him cannot be kept out. The rights of the Plaintiff have been violated because they have prevented him from running as a candidate for US Congress in part by claiming that their primaries are only for state-wide candidates.
26. Defendant Robert Conroy resides at 537 55th Street, Brooklyn NY 11220. Defendant Pamela Texada resides at 308 Cumberland Street, Brooklyn NY 11238. Defendant Lenora Fulani resides at 560 West 43rd, New York NY 10036. Defendant Diane Haslett Rudiano resides at 258 Schenck Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11207 and her office is at 345 Adams Street, Brooklyn NY 11201.
27. Defendant Peter S. Kosinski is the Executive Director of the New York State Board of Elections. Defendants Carol Berman, Neil W. Kellerher, Helena Moses Donohue and Evelyn J. Acquila are Commissioners of Elections, Constituting the New York State Board of Elections. They have participated in the above scheme by allowing the by-laws of the Independence Party to be filed with the Board of Elections which create the aforementioned unconstitutionally permitted classes. They should be ordered by the court to allow Plaintiff and other candidates like him to run for US Congress on the Independence Party Line.
28. Diane Haslett-Rudiano is the chief clerk of the King's County Board of Elections. She has embarked on an elaborate partisan campaign to stop Plaintiff from becoming a candidate for US Congress in her dual capacity of also being the Secretary of the King's County Republican Party.
29. Defendants include New York City Commissioners of Elections Nero Graham, Frederic M. Umane, Weyman A. Carey, Michael J. Cilmi, Mark B. Herman, Douglas A. Kellner, Terrence C. O'connor, Nancy Mottola-Schacher, and Stephen H. Weiner.
30. For the past three months Plaintiff has been seeking the Independence Party line in his campaign for US Congress from the 10th Congressional District, which is entirely in Brooklyn. He is a registered blank, meaning that he has no party registration. For this reason, he cannot run as a Republican or as a Democrat, for example, unless they grant him a Wilson-Pakula. New York Election Law Section 6-120(3), the "Wilson-Pakula" law, states:
"3. The members of the party committee representing the political subdivision of the office for which a designation or nomination is to be made, unless the rules of the party provide for another committee, in which case the members of such other committee ... may, by a majority vote of those present at such meeting provided a quorum is present, authorize the designation or nomination of a person as candidate for any office who is not enrolled as a member of such party as provided in this section. ... The certificate of authorization shall be filed not later than four days after the last day to file the designating petition ... to which such authorization relates. The certificate of authorization shall be signed and acknowledged by the presiding officer and the secretary of the meeting at which such authorization was given."
31. In furtherance of the scheme or conspiracy to stop Plaintiff from running for and being elected to US Congress, although Plaintiff informed Robert Conroy on April 3, 2004 that he wanted to be the Independence Party Candidate, Robert Conroy repeatedly put off the Plaintiff, did not show up for the screening, postponed the screening and when the screening was held he never got to meet the screeners face-to-face and only two other party members were present on the telephone call which did not constitute a quorum and therefore lacked the authority to grant Plaintiff a Wilson-Pakula. Then, Robert Conroy waited until well after the petitioning period had started to inform Plaintiff that he had been rejected as a candidate.
32. All of the above acts constituted violations of New York Election Law and the Constitutional and Statutory Rights of the Plaintiff as well as the by-laws of the Independence Party.
33. Robert Conroy has repeatedly told Plaintiff that if he is accepted as a candidate he is not to be circulating his own petitions to be on the ballot. Robert Conroy has explained that the Independence Party has its own stable list of petition signers and therefore will contact them and obtain their signatures without interference from the Plaintiff. Plaintiff believes that in view of the aforementioned circumstances including the fact that the petitioning period is now half passed, Robert Conroy should be ordered to produce the signatures he claims to be able to produce.
34. The reason the Independence Party only wants the primary elections for State-Wide offices to be opened to non-enrolled voters and not the other elections is that it is the state-wide elections that secure ballot status for the Independence Party. The Independence Party must obtain 50,000 votes every four years in the statewide election for governor. The local elections do not count. Thus, the Independence Party wants to keep its own inside group in control of the party by effectively preventing primary elections for US Congress and other non-statewide offices. It is submitted that this scheme is a violation of Federal and New York State Election Law and the Constitutional rights of Plaintiff.
35. All of the aforementioned acts have damaged the Plaintiff by making it difficult and now nearly impossible for Plaintiff to run for election and be elected to the United States Congress. Accordingly, the defendants should be required to pay money damages to the Plaintiff, in addition to equitable relief.
WHEREFORE, for all of the reasons set forth above, the Plaintiff demands:
1. A preliminary and permanent injunction requiring that the Defendants grant to Plaintiff a Wilson-Pakula allowing him to petition for election as an Independence Party candidate or an order declaring that as a non-enrolled voter Plaintiff does not need a Wilson-Pakula to run as an Independence Party candidate.
2. A preliminary and permanent injunction requiring that the name of the Plaintiff be placed on the primary ballot as a candidate for Congress for the Tenth Congressional District (which means, if the election is uncontested as is presently the case that Plaintiff will be the Independence Party candidate in the general election in November).
3. A preliminary and permanent injunction requiring that the name of the Plaintiff be placed on the ballot in the General Election in November as a candidate for Congress from the 10th Congressional District.
4. That damages be awarded to the plaintiff in the amount of Ten Million Dollars.
5. That this action be tried by jury (donft forget that).
6. Such other and further relief as may be just and equitable.
Dated: June 30, 2004
Samuel H. Sloan
920 Belmont Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11208
The other is a proceeding to put you back on the ballot after your opponents have filed an objection and had the Board of Elections kick you off the ballot. This is called a gValidating petitionh.
I was listed as a candidate on the New York City Board of Elections website until a few days ago when my name was taken off. This is because the Board of Elections kicked me off the ballot. Now, I have filed validating petitions with the Brooklyn Supreme Court. I expect to take this case up, possibly even to the highest court of New York State and then to the highest court of the United States. Many other candidates were kicked off the ballot but so far none of the others have filed an appeal. My appeal will apparently be the first. Of course, if I win, the other candidates who were kicked off the ballot for similar reasons will probably file appeals as well.
I have posted and will continue to post my court filings to my websites. This is for the convenience of other candidates who may want to copy and use them.