NYS Needs Nonpartisan Municipal Elections:

Bloomberg Speechwriter in Exclusive Empire Page Interview

ALBANY, NY (12/27/2009)(readMedia)-- Francis S. Barry, a speechwriter for Mayor Bloomberg and author of a controversial analysis of reform movements in New York, explains why NYS should adopt non-partisan municipal elections in an exclusive interview published today by the Empire Page.

Non-partisan elections would solve the problem that exists in New York City and elsewhere around the state where "nearly all elections for nearly all offices . . .are decided in the Democratic primary, when turnout is very low."

Barry explains that non-partisan elections would "allow the strongest two candidates, no matter which party they belong to, to face off in a general election rather. . . - giving all voters, including independents, a real choice."

Barry worked on a commission whose proposal for non-partisan elections in New York City was voted down in 2003 with most so-called good government groups leading the opposition despite the fact that many of the groups had previously advocated for non-partisan elections. Early in 2009 he published The Scandal of Reform, a history and analysis of reform organizations.

Barry also favors nonpartisan redistricting. "The practice of using sophisticated computer programs to draw district lines tailored around incumbents, with the lines snaking in and out of streets and neighborhoods, is bad for democratic competition at elections and bad for democratic representation in government," Barry states.

A link to entire interview with Francis S. Barry can be found in the Improving New York section of The Empire Page.

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