This is a re-write of the petition, originally written in mid-March of 2004. Now that the Michael Benjamin for Senate campaign has released a report on their website (http://www.benjamin2004.com/pdfs/SpecialReport_April2004.pdf) levying some very serious and disturbing charges, I want to make this simple as I can.
Michael Benjamin has been campaigning to be the Republican candidate to go up against Chuck Schumer in the 2004 race for US Senate. He has been doing so since January of 2003. His efforts have garnered him:
-18,000 donors totaling over $600,000. That is without any official endorsement from the State Republican Party.
Clearly, Michael Benjamin appeals to a large part of the Republican base in New York. If the State Republican leadership believed in the democratic process within the Republican party, Michael Benjamin would be acknowledged as a legitimate candidate. Furthermore, he would be one of the candidates that Republicans across the state would be able to choose from in a Republican primary . The truth, as outlined in his report \"Undermining Democracy\" is in fact far more sinister.
The Dark Truth
Every time there is a race for statewide office (Governor, Comptroller, Attorney General, US Senate) in New York, the Democratic party ALWAYS has a primary, and anyone who wants to be considered is allowed to participate in the primary.
Go back to 1998, when even though the folks in power in the Democratic party considered Chuck Schumer to be the best candidate to run against Al D\'Amato, there were still THREE other candidates in their primary (Geraldine Ferraro, Mark Green and even unknown civil engineer from Queens named Eric Mendez).
The same occurred in 2000 when the Democratic powers brokers did not stand in the way of a Manhattan surgeon, Mark McMahon, who wanted to challenge the unchallengeable Hillary Clinton to represent the Democratic party.
Now consider the New York State Republican party. There has not been a Republican primary in New York for US Senator in TWENTY-FOUR YEARS. Every year, a candidate is \"chosen\", and no other candidate is allowed to be considered.
As a Republican, I am ashamed at this state of affairs. We should not only be ALLOWED a choice as to who our Senate candidates should be, I think it is MANDATORY that we have a choice. Republicans in New York are not a monolith.
A \"libertarian\" Republican is not a \"conservative\" Republican is not a \"party\" Republican is not a \"liberal\" Republican.
Is it any wonder why there is so little enthusiasm among Republicans for any Statewide candidates who have come on the scene
Would anyone expect such a seemingly totalitarian structure to engender grassroots enthusiasm
Doesn\'t this go far to explain the drop in Republican party registration while Democratic party registrations are soaring
1. Go to his website and read the report.
2. If you agree that what has happened unacceptable, please sign this petition in hopes that we can send a message to the New York State GOP leadership that this undemocratic system here in New York is unacceptable.
Sean T. Doherty
New York, NY
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