Just when you think Democrats in Niagara County can't get anymore incompetent, David Houghton and Paul Dyster put their heads together to form what can only be described as an awful Abbott & Costello routine.
Last week, Houghton, Chairman of the Niagara Falls Democratic Committee, and Dyster, temporarily the mayor of Niagara Falls, strolled into the Niagara County Courthouse together to file a slew of lawsuits against a multitude of candidates for office. Houghton, doing Dyster's dirty work, filed lawsuits to throw out the Democratic petitions of mayoral candidates John Accardo and Carnell Burch, the Conservative petitions of Accardo, council candidate Glenn Choolokian, council candidate Bob Anderson and the Democratic petitions of Matt Cole, who is running for county legislature against John Briglio.
According to state Election Law, Houghton needed to commence the action by July 28th. What this means is that he would have had to serve the papers on the candidates and the county Board of Elections by midnight on July 28th. What he actually did is filed the lawsuits on the 28th, but he and his co-conspirators did not serve the respondents until the 29th, 30th & 31st. Houghton et al did not commence their actions in a timely manner. That is what we who follow politics call a major screw-up.
This is not rocket science. The law is very clear on the procedures in place when one party tries to boot another party off the ballot. To be so incompetent on such a massive scale is simply astounding. Of course, given Dyster's abysmal history of governing, no one should be surprised that he would oversee such a colossal failure.
Dan Rivera, Chairman of the county Dems, isn't without culpability either. Rivera, who works for a law firm, actually served papers to some of the respondents.
We'll never know if Houghton and Dyster would have been successful in their efforts to knock Accardo, Burch, Choolokian and Cole off the ballots, because their inability to follow simple instructions once again got the best of them. This may be a hard lesson to swallow come September 13th.