Kicking a political opponent off the ballot is a common, if unseemly, thing for campaigns to be publicly involved in. To most voters and observers it connotes a sense that archaic election rules are limiting voters choices, rather than letting issues and ideas be the deciding factor.
But, all's fair in primaries and mid-term elections.
Today, Democratic Rep. Mike McMahon's campaign announced they're challenging the petitions of John Tabacco, an Independence Party member who is trying to run for congress on the IP line. That's a line McMahon desparately needs in the Republican-leaning district, especially since the Working Families Party line is being denied him because he voted against Obama's health care reform bill.
In McMahon's announcement, he said 402 out of 678 signatures collected by Tabacco were invalid.
To deal with the possible public-relations blowback, here's how McMahon explained the move:
“Out of respect for Mr. Tabacco’s efforts to run for this seat, I welcomed the opportunity to sit down with him to discuss any issues he had with me running on the Independence Party line. It was my goal to see if we could find some common ground in this race or in the future. However, I do believe that it is the obligation of every candidate for elective office to meet the minimum basic requirements established by law for campaign filings and I don’t feel they have been met in Mr. Tabacco’s case. I do, however, look forward to working with him on our issues of shared concern that affect the people of Staten Island and Brooklyn."
The McMahon campaign is prepared in coming days for their hearing with the Board of Elections in anticipation of Mr. Tabacco being removed from the Independence Party line before the case is scheduled to appear in Brooklyn Supreme Court.