Court cans Lacorte on technicality; 4-0 decision means final appeal a long shot
BY MARC MOSS
An Appeals Court reversed the NY Supreme Court decision allowing Dagan Lacorte onto the Democratic primary ballot Wednesday. The appeal panel, which ruled 4-0 against Lacorte, said the validating petition was not sufficiently “particularized” to give notice of which signatures he claimed were improperly invalidated by the Rockland County Board of Elections.
The court also said Lacorte failed to establish that he did not receive adequate and timely notice of the objections that were sustained by the board as he had claimed. Thus the court did not even review the actual signatures in question.
Lacorte has one more avenue of appeal that he can exhaust, although the court is not required to hear his argument. A final determination is expected by next week, but for now Lacorte is off the ballot.
The challenge of Lacorte was brought by electoral foe David Fried, who Lacorte has relentlessly attacked in recent mailings. “Today’s ruling demonstrates the importance of an independent judiciary and the critical role it serves in a healthy democracy. This has been a long, but important process. We collected signatures the right way, relying on door-to-door volunteers talking directly with Rockland Democrats,” Fried said, making light of the fact Lacorte collected many signatures at local supermarkets.
Lacorte had hired a company Field Works to get his name on the ballot. The company had boasted of never failing to ensure ballot access for a client. Field Works can no longer make that claim, if it was true in the first place. One source with inside knowledge of the case said, “But Dagan messed up his petitions and he is paying the price.”
If it is indeed the end of the line for Lacorte the failure to get on the ballot is a shocking anti-climax for the candidate who had raised the most money of any of the four major contenders. Lacorte’s campaign started off rocky early on, when in January he wrong-texted a plan to spy on David Fried directly to Mr. Fried himself, a story which the Rockland County Times famously exposed under the headline “LaCaught.”
Many Rocklanders have continued to refer to Lacorte as simply “Lacaught” since that time. He also caused some controversy by relying heavily on former Assemblyman Ryan Karben for campaign advice and over $100,000 in campaign mailing services.