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Election 2010: Calvo-Torres declines nomination Judicial convention a hoax

September 29, 2010

Judge Betty Calvo-Torres

Although it’s suppose to be an open eight county judicial convention, the Chairman of the Erie County Democratic Party Leonard R. Lenihan allegedly

Judge Jeannette ogden

had a posse of his associates handing out tickets to the  delegates with the names of his  five preferred judicial nominees none included any of the minority women candidates for the five vacant seats on the New York State Supreme Court 8th Judicial District.

And Politics reported that Lenihan “has thrown three City Court minority judges, all women, under the bus, including the only Hispanic, City Court Judge Betty Calvo-Torres…”while forcing two outstanding NYS Supreme Court Justices Kevin Dillon and Eugene Fahey to run for re-election, describing the Chairman as “dishonored, disrespected and had brought disrepute to the nominating process.”

The whole process was so utterly  ridiculous and rigged  that Buffalo City Court Judge Henry J. Nowak who had left the race a few months ago and was not even a candidate surface as one on Monday  his father retired Congressman Henry Nowak flying into town from his vacation home for the special event.

Demon A. Smith, Masten District Council Member nominated Judge Calvo-Torres who later politely declined the nomination, disappearing as quickly as she entered the race.

They say it’s not the candidate but how deep is the campaign treasure chest of  the judicial candidates the process in NYS causing a federal law suit a few years ago putting forth options other than the conventional judicial one in place now.

And  the Monday night  judicial nominating convention  drawing in delegates from the eight counties of Western New York is a good example why there should be changes in how they select judges for the NYS Supreme Court.

Instead of choosing a diverse slate Chairman Lenihan opts for a white one four men and one female.  Why not another woman? Why not a minority woman  Calvo-Torres, Ogden, Givens? They were all well qualified and supported in their respective communities especially  Calvo-Torres who politically had galvanized a community otherwise dormant and disenfranchised.

Judge Calvo-Torres should have accepted the nomination though Chairman Lenihan didn’t hand out her name on a ticket for whatever reason perhaps he didn’t want to provide an opportunity to a candidate he associated with Mayor Byron W. Brown who almost unseated his favorite  political ally Assemblyman William Hoyt in the primary.

It’s a pity indeed  one wonders why the GOP daily is increasing its edge over the Democrats who historically depend on the minority voters to give them the needed votes to prevail in an election.  That GOP gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino has attracted 33% of the Latino vote is no wonder it happened.

Minorities seem to be grabbing on to any political buoy in response to both Democrats and Republicans slight while both the Freedom Party and the Green Party with diverse slates have increased their popularity among these voters.

Republicans nominated former Erie County Attorney Cheryl A. Green, Niagara County Legislator Paul B. Wojtaszek, Williamsville Justice Jeffrey F. Voelkl, Buffalo attorney Mark C. Rodgers and Orchard Park Town Justice Deborah A. Chimes.

Dillon, Fahey, law clerk Catherine Nugent Panepinto, Lancaster Justice Mark A. Montour and Buffalo City Court Judge Henry J. Nowak  received the Democratic and Independent backing while Chimes, Dillon, Fahey, Panepinto and Wojtaszek got the Conservative nomination. And the top five vote getter to serve a fourteen-year term on the bench.

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