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Democrats wish to unseat Maloney dissolves in court

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Publisher Jeff Brauer’s hopes of challenging U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Astoria) at the polls were dashed last week when a high court refused to hear his appeal of an earlier decision eliminating him from the Democratic primary.

“We are off the ballot officially,” Brauer said in a phone interview last Thursday. “We are gone. There’s nothing more to it.”

By refusing to consider Brauer’s appeal at an Aug. 28 hearing, the Court of Appeals in Albany let stand the decisions of the State Supreme Court and the Appellate Division, knocking him off the ballot.

Maloney, a 10-year incumbent from Manhattan’s Upper East Side, is now running unopposed in the Sept. 10 Democratic primary for her seat.

“I appreciate the support of everyone who wishes to work with me as I continue my work on behalf of the constituents of the 14th Congressional District, who I am proud to represent in Congress,” Maloney said in a statement after Brauer announced the end to his candidacy.

But she must still face Anton Srdanovic, a Republican district leader who is also from the Upper East Side, in the November general election.

Brauer, the founder of Brooklyn-based On Your Own Publications, is now throwing his support behind Maloney.

“We’re not going to be sore losers,” he said. “We want to see a Democrat elected, and the result is we’re supporting the lady who’s in office.”

When political boundaries were moved this year as part of the redistricting process, Maloney’s district was extended farther into Queens to cover a larger swath of Astoria in addition to part of Long Island City.

Brauer was cut from the race because the court ruled he was too late in registering in the Democratic party, which rendered him ineligible to run in this year’s primary.

In June, Brauer changed his voter registration from his grandfather’s 56th Street apartment in Manhattan, where he was not enrolled in any party, to his own pad in Westchester County, where he signed up as a Democrat.

Maloney’s attorneys argued that election law required Brauer to have changed his enrollment by October 2001 to run this year, but Brauer countered that someone who moves out of the city is exempted from that rule — a position supported by counsel for the state Board of Elections.

But the courts sided with Maloney.

“In New York the law is that it protects parties,” Maloney said in a recent interview before Brauer’s Albany hearing. “It protects having people play games in elections.”

Reach reporter Dustin Brown by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 154.

Posted 7:20 pm, October 10, 2011
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