Fulani Can Be The Boss

Never one to cut out early on a warm, sunny Friday, Azi sends along the news that the Lenora Fulani faction of the Independence Party has won back the right to control the selection of party candidates in New York City.

Fulani, who waged an independent bid for the presidency in 1988 and sought the Democratic nomination in 1992, and her New York City counterparts have been at odds with the state Independence Party, which in June seized control of the candidate selection process for New York City. But the Fulani-aligned Independence organizations in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and Staten Island won a ruling from a state Supreme Court Judge yesterday that hands control back to them.

The upshot: Fulani, assuming the ruling holds, now has an open path to the 2009 general election ballot in New York City. Presumably, she’ll run for Mayor (although Azi notes that “public advocate debate with her and Norman Siegel and Eric Gioia would be amazing!). The Republicans could be a loser in this, since – more so than the Democrats – they need extra ballot lines to compete in the fall; with the state Independence Party controlling the New York City line, an alliance with the G.O.P. would have been possible. But if Fulani wants the line for herself, the G.O.P. can forget that idea. (However, Azi also points out that anyone can start their own ballot line with relative ease – including, hypothetically I assume, “the Azi Paybarah First Party.”)

UPDATE: A reader suggests Fulani’s legal victory might not amount to much and makes several points. One is that “invalidation of the state party rule was largely on technical grounds and it’s my belief that if the state party passes a rules change making a special provision for the 2009 citywide races, that would be upheld.” Also, the reader notes that Fulani, even if she prevails in court, would still need to endure a cumbersome petitioning process for her party to appear on the ’09 ballot — and also a  potential challenge in an IP primary, perhaps not a far-fetched idea given her negative ratings.