Testa Triumphs, Opponent’s Independence Party Petitions Ruled Invalid

On Thursday August 4, 2011 State Supreme Court Judge Mary H. Smith granted a motion to invalidate Independence Party petitions submitted by Mike Kane as well as Mary Foster and her entire Peekskill City Council slate. The judge concurred that the petitions filed by the Democrats were fraught with numerous inaccuracies, misrepresentations and fraudulently witnessed in several instances.

“Despite the frantic attempts by the Peekskill Democrats and their “spin doctors” to dismiss the lawsuit against them, claiming it amounted to nothing more than “inconsequential technical errors,” as one of them put it, is laughable. The fact is the Democrats got caught cheating…again,” remarked Cathy Pisani upon hearing of the successful outcome of her court challenge.

For weeks throughout the petitioning process the public has been bombarded by the increasing shrill, outrageous claims made by the Democratic candidates and their operatives insisting that County Legislator John Testa was somehow trying to limit the “choice” of voters.  Nothing is further from the truth, “as usual with the Peekskill Democrats, you have to look at what they do, not what they say,” stated Testa.

The fact is by successfully challenging them in Court, the fraud they tried to perpetrate has been exposed for what it is, an attempt to limit voters’ choice.  For Mike Kane, Chairman of the Peekskill Democratic Party and Darrin Rigger the local Democratic press secretary and professional political operative who has worked for John Hall and Charlie Rangel to claim “politics” is beyond hypocritical!

A judge had to do what the partisan Board of Election Commissioner Reginald Lafayette would not – admit the truth behind the cheating and outrageous actions by the Democratic candidates during the petition process.

Kane’s petitions for County Legislator were rife with improper submissions. Of the 104 submitted signatures only 30 were valid. Kane filed petitions with signatures that did not match those on file with the Board of Elections, a petition for completely different elections was submitted as his own and witness statements on multiple petitions were fraudulent.

Commissioner Lafayette, at the urging of the Democratic candidates, ignored the inaccuracies and pushed the decision over to the judge who determined that enough signatures were invalid to disqualify Kane from the Independence line on the ballot.

The fact remains that three quarters of the required signatures that were submitted were judged improper speaks volumes. “I have garnered a reputation over my almost twenty years of public service, first as a councilman, mayor and now as a county legislator of playing by the rules and following the proper procedures to get elected,” Testa exclaimed. Further stating, “I will not tolerate cheating and will always challenge any opponent who feels they need to cheat during an election. I owe it to the people who have supported and elected me. My thanks to former Councilwoman Cathy Pisani for taking a stand for what is right.”

About Legislator John G. Testa

John G. Testa, a life-long resident of Peekskill, began his first term on the Westchester County Legislature in January 2010. Prior to his successful run for the District 1 Legislative seat, he served 3 terms as Mayor of Peekskill from January 2002 until December 2007. Before becoming mayor he also served a four-year term as a Councilman. From his first days in office Testa worked tirelessly to set the City on the path of economic stability. Peekskill flourished under this plan, increasing the city fund balance to its highest in history. During John’s tenure in office, the NY State Comptroller’s Office named Peekskill one of the most fiscally sound municipalities in the State; independent auditors proclaimed Peekskill as being in its best fiscal condition in over 30 years; and Moody’s Investor Service agreed to upgrade its bond rating, resulting in further savings. The plan he put in place was so successful that it enabled the City of Peekskill to pass three budgets in a row with a 0% tax increase. These fiscal skills will prove valuable to Testa as he works to put the brakes on what has been wildly escalating county spending and unchecked government growth. He has pledged his efforts to work to consolidate services, eliminate wasteful spending and improve efficiency. In addition to the fiscal conservatism that served Peekskill so well, Testa worked to promote the city, attracting investment, jobs and an increased tax base. Over $100 million of private investment came to Peekskill in the forms of new residential construction, retail space, and the redevelopment of historic structures. As Mayor, Testa led a successful battle to stop the unfair and unsafe plan to send sewage to the Peekskill plant from outside the sewage/water district. John’s roots are deep within the soil of Northern Westchester. His father’s family has lived here for more than a century and his mother’s family is nearing that mark. He is proud that he was born in Peekskill and has lived and worked here all his life and, with his wife Nancy raised their two children here.
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