Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sam Sloan Switcheroo Sinks Slate

The Personal Freedom Party held its New York City Nominating Convention on May 11, 2013. Sam Sloan was nominated for Mayor, Thomas Robert Stevens was nominated for Public Advocate, and Richard Bozulich was later nominated for Comptroller. John Clifton, Chair of the Libertarian Party of Queens County, was hired to be Petition Coordinator and liaison to Darryl Bonner and Gerald Bundy, the two paid petitions who were required by contract to obtain 7,000 signatures in support of the drive. Matthew Kelly, Vice-Chair of Long Island Libertarians, agreed to serve as Treasurer of the Committee to Elect Sam Sloan Mayor and opened a checking account on behalf of Sam Sloan's campaign. Payment for the first week of two weeks lodging for the petitioners was paid out of that account and the petition form was carefully scrutinized and approved by all involved. Sam Sloan, Darryl Bonner and Gerald Bundy signed a written contract detailing the obligations of all parties.  

On Monday, July 8, 2013, Sam Sloan, Darryl Bonner and John Clifton met in Queens to discuss the implementation of the contract in anticipation of the collection of signatures on behalf of the slate nominated by the Personal Freedom Party. That evening, Sam Sloan told Darryl Bonner he had a side-contract he wanted him to execute first, namely, the collection of petition signatures to get his Personal Freedom Party slate on the ballot as Republican Party candidates. Darryl Bonner and John Clifton confirm Sam Sloan told them they were not to tell anyone about this side-contract, which included his candidates, Richard Bozulich and Tom Stevens, the State Chair of the Personal Freedom Party. Sam Sloan provided Darryl Bonner with Republican Party petitions to circulate and had opened a separate checking account to write checks for expenses associated with this side-contract without the knowledge of Matthew Kelly, who was under the impression the petition drive was to get the Personal Freedom Party nominees on the ballot in November.

Given that the deadline for the submission of petition signatures for Republican Party candidates was midnight on July 11, 2013, there was only a window of 3 days to obtain the required 3,750 signatures. Darryl Bonner and John Clifton confirm that Sam Sloan told Darryl Bonner to just go out and get whoever he could to sign the petitions, without asking whether the signer was a registered Republican or even a registered voter. Sam Sloan spent $22,900.00 to pay for the expenses of paid petitioners, a number of whom were flown in from out of state. He contends Darryl Bonner was paid for 5,200 petition signatures while 4,517 signatures were actually filed.

The petition signatures were objected to by a challenger (who counted 4,269 signatures) and at a Hearing held at the New York City Board of Elections on Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 1:30 p.m., all petitions submitted on behalf of Sam Sloan's slate were rejected because the witnesses to those petitions were not registered Republican Party members. Sam Sloan has three days to challenge the decision in Court. 

It is not yet clear whether Sam Sloan will still finance the Personal Freedom Party petition drive. As a result, the Personal Freedom Party is currently looking for alternative sources of financing. 

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