Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

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May 21st, 2010

Why are they afraid of David Sager?

Although legislator David Sager’s desire to unseat popular incumbent State Senator John Bonacic seems to be an almost impossible task, one would not think so with all the behind the scenes maneuvering to keep him off the ballot.

Understandably, politicians do not like campaigns because they are stressful and costly, and especially in this political environment they are justifiably nervous it could be difficult to win over an angry electorate. We repeatedly hear voters want incumbents out of office, even though no one knows if it is true on a local level.

Senator Bonacic has continually delivered for the entire Hudson Valley and has a proven track record. But, that does not mean he should not have a worthy opponent to give the public an opportunity to hear the issues, especially in a time when the State of New York is in such turmoil.

Politicians and their supporters have been known to do anything feasible to ward off possible challengers. Candidates are often knocked off the ballot because of things like technicalities in petitioning.

What is happening to prevent Sager from running on the Democratic line appears to be unethical, immoral, and gets one not only disgusted with politics, but also sick to the stomach.

Sager’s change in enrollment will not take effect until January. In order for Sager to run as a Democrat he needs what is called a Wilson Pakula, an authorization to be placed on the ballot.

Wilson Pakula’s are done all the time, practically all candidates running on Conservative or Independence lines need a Wilson Pakula. In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg received a Wilson Pakula in order to run as a Republican, even though there were Republicans who wanted to challenge him in a Primary. They later backed off.

Informed and highly reliable sources have told me certain Democratic incumbents throughout the Hudson Valley and as far reaching as Long Island have been told from leaders within the Independence Party they will not receive their endorsement if Sager is allowed to challenge Bonacic as a Democrat.

Even Hassidic leaders in Kiryas Joel have threatened to withdraw their support of Congressman John Hall.

Call it coercion, call it using political muscle, call it what you want, these types of threats and backroom politics must be stopped.

As ludicrous as this may sound, certain political officials are fearful voters are confused and believe the Independence Party is an independent political party and thus vote that line only for only that reason. They are scared many voters will not vote traditional party lines because of negative voter sentiment, and could lose if their candidates are not endorsed by the Independence Party.

Ironically, political experts view this election season as being huge for Democrats in New York State with names like Cuomo, Schumer and Gillibrand leading the ticket all running without the backing of Independence or Conservative Parties.

Democratic officials were ordered to pull the plug on Sager’s candidacy by running a political unknown. Seth Goldman, a political novice from Orange County, recently announced he is running against Bonacic. Goldman lost by huge margins twice for tax collector in his hometown, while Sager won legislator and countywide coroner as a Republican in Democratic territory.

Wilson Pakula’s are not officially handed out until petitioning ends in mid July. Thus Sager and Goldman could essentially run in a primary.

Instead of standing up and fighting, some appear to be succumbing and caving in to Independence Party demands. Others within the Democratic Party want to combat and expose the dirty truth. They say it is no longer about Sager getting their endorsement, but about preventing other political parties from using gangster like tactics to achieve their own political gains.

Sullivan County’s Independence Party must not be implicated in this, and I am certain chairperson Tammi Chaboty has no idea this is even happening. Tammi Chaboty is probably one of the most respectable and honorable people I have ever met, and I cherish her friendship.

It will be interesting to see how the public throughout the Senatorial District reacts as they begin to learn the facts.

Sullivan County Democratic Chairman Steven Wilkinson has made terrific strides within the party to benefit all of Sullivan County, and I value his friendship. It must be very difficult to be in his shoes right now, as well as the other Democratic Chairmen in Ulster, Orange, and Delaware Counties.

One really has to ask one simple question. Why are they afraid of David Sager?

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