We now have a response from Pete Gleason's campaign regarding yesterday's court ruling, putting City Council member Alan Gerson back on the ballot. We have updated our story on the hearing with comments from Gleason's attorney, Ray Dowd. Gleason filed a lawsuit, accusing Gerson of candidate fraud. He'll now file an appeal, in hopes of knocking Gerson off the ballot again. Outside the courtroom, the Gerson campaign released a statement, saying:
cynical effort to deny the voters their fundamental democratic right.
It calls Gleason "ethically unfit to represent the area in the City
Council." The statement continues,"His campaign offers very little in
what he will do to improve the lives of people in Lower Manhattan, and
seems concentrated almost entirely on distorting my record and personal
insults, that to this point, he has failed to disavow."
Here's the response from Paul Newell, Gleason campaign spokesman:
A bit of context: Six years ago, Gerson tried to force Gleason off the ballot. Outside court yesterday, Gerson called that "ancient history" and he said the circumstances were very different. Back then, Gerson argued, the issue was whether Gleason had enough valid signatures. He said that's very different from the case Gleason is trying to make now. As for the accusations that United Jewish Council employees improperly collected signatures for Gerson, the Council member's attorney said yesterday there's no evidence to support the claims.
One final note: Newell referred to the fact that Gleason was outside the Pitt Station Post Office on Clinton Street today, collecting signatures to keep the facility open. He set up right next to a table Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has had in front of the post office all week. Silver and Rep. Carolyn Maloney have gathered over 1300 signatures in preparation for a campaign to prevent the possible closure. But it's very clear there is absolutely no coordination between the Silver and Gleason efforts. In fact, Silver is supporting Gerson. And from the "oh, what a tangled web file," Newell's the same guy who unsuccessfully ran against Silver last year. He is now running for district leader against former Gerson aide Avi Turkel.