This is a special election that is being held on February 12, 2002 because Assemblyman Albert Vann resigned on January 1, 2002 after 26 years in office. The reason Vann resigned is that he had been elected to New York City Council.
Vann was elected to New York City Council as part of a deal. Because of the Term Limits Law, City Council Member Annette Robinson could not run again. She had held office since 1991. Therefore, Albert Vann ran for City Council to take her place. Vann is a popular person in Bedford Stuyvesant and was elected with 92% of the vote.
Now, Annette Robinson is running to take his place.
This practice of exchanging seats to evade the Term Limits Law creates ethical and moral issues. It is made possible by the fact that Bedford Stuyvesant has 82% registered Democrats. There are 14% registered independents and only 4% registered Republicans in Bedford Stuyvesant. Also, in special elections, there are no primaries. Candidates are appointed by the Party bosses. This means that the representatives are virtually appointed by the Democratic Party, and not elected by the people.
Other candidates for election are:
Arthur Bromwell, the Republican Party candidate. He is 82 years old and is not regarded as serious candidate. He has even refused to be interviewed by the Citizens Union. His name was put up just so that the election would not be uncontested, because the Republicans know that they have no chance to win.
Richard Taylor, the Liberal Party Candidate. He ran for City Council against Albert Vann and received only 433 votes, or 3% of the vote. He might do better running against Annette Robinson, because she does not seem to be as popular as Albert Vann is. However, his chances for election are slim.
Sam Sloan. I am running as the Libertarian Party candidate. My candidacy is regarded as a long shot, to put it very mildly. However, I can absolutely guarantee that if I am elected, I will shake up the power structure in Albany. This is also putting it very mildly. So, if the voters want things to continue as before, Annette Robinson is your candidate. If you want revolutionary change, Sam Sloan is your man.
I got on the ballot by circulating nominating petitions. I am the only candidate to have circulated petitions. The last day to challenge my petitions was January 17. That day has passed and no other candidate has challenged my petitions, so it appears that my name will be on the ballot.
One of my big issues is to abolish the rent control laws, which have strangled the economic development of Bedford Stuyvesant since the 1940s, when rent control was first enacted. Because of these rent control laws, Bedford Stuyvesant is filled with abandoned buildings. Nobody wants to re-build if they cannot charge enough rent to make a profit. It does no good to have low rent if your building or your neighbor's building is abandoned. Since rent control is re-enacted every two years as an "emergency regulation" with a nearly 50-50 vote, my election to the New York State Assembly will virtually guarantee that rent control will be abolished.
Then, we can start rebuilding Bedford Stuyvesant. Peace and happiness will prevail through the district. I will no longer hear gunshots out my window at night.
My election website is at http://www.samsloan.com/issues.htm
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