Rockland Voice has learned from several sources that NYS Assemblyman Democrat Ken Zebrowski shown above has turned down the opportunity to run on the Independence Party line for re-election this November.
Zebrowski was approached in a telephone call by none other than self-styled “Mr. Republican” County Legislator Frank Sparaco and offered the Independence Party nomination. Zebrowski informed the ‘behind-the-scenes’ Independence Party’s leader that he was not interested.
The news that Sparaco continues to be anything but loyal to the Republican party he professes to support should come as no surprise to most observers of the political machinations that pass for principled politics in Rockland County. Sparaco’s pleas to Zebrowski have the ‘ring’ of a drowning man ‘calling’ on a landline for a lifeline.
In the same week that Sparaco was pursuing Zebrowski with the poisoned Independent Party’s chalice, the Republican Party was preparing charges against him which included actively supporting candidates running against members of his own party, sending anonymous emails attacking members of his own party, using Facebook anonymously to undermine GOP elected officials, and having engaged in an organized absentee ballot campaign in support of Democrat David Fried in last year’s County Executive race won by Republican Ed Day.
Last week rather than respond to the overwhelming evidence against him, Sparaco resigned from the Republican Party’s Senior Leadership committee pleading “exhaustion” and stating that as the “poster boy” of the Republican Party he would continue to work for his “Republican principles”. The “principles” Sparaco was referring to were not delineated.
It now appears obvious that about the same time Sparaco was issuing his cover statement about “exhaustion” and his need for a rest from carrying political petitions, he found sufficient energy to contact one of the most highly respected politicians in Rockland County, Democrat Zebrowski, and offer him the support of the Independence Party for re-election this November.
With a ‘principled Republican’ like this working unexhaustedly to rope in a Democrat of the stature of Zebrowski for the IndepenDENCE Party, this legal racket party hopes to survive for a while longer deceiving some voters that it is a party for indepenDENT voters when it is in fact subservient to single individuals; Frank Sparaco in Rockland County and Dr. Giulio Cavallo in Westchester.
All of the three minor political parties in Rockland, particularly the Independence Party, were placed on a fast track to extinction by the rise of a new truly independent ‘grass roots’ movement, Preserve Rockland, which supported principled Democrats and Republicans in the November 2013 elections who were determined to replace ‘government by payoff’ with ‘government by principle’.
At the same time in both Rockland and Westchester Counties independent voters who believed that the IndepenDENCE Party was an indepenDENT party had that belief demolished when Phil Reisman wrote an opinion piece in the Journal News declaring that the IndepenDENCE Party is nothing more than a “racket” which trades its party line for patronage jobs.
In Clarkstown this “racket” is controlled by Legislator Sparaco through his high school friend John Perrotta who titles himself as “Chairman“. Both Sparaco and Perrotta express a somewhat impolite view about their political opponents having on one occasion referred to them on Facebook as “punks“.
Cliff Weathers writing in NYAltNews on July 13, 2013 stated: “Sparaco’s got virtual control of two, if not three, political parties in the County and has a cushy part-time desk job with the town (in addition to his other well-paid job as a County Legislator). His mother-in-law, Debra Ortutay (then chair of the Rockland Independence Party), pled guilty of perjury and fraud charges and went to prison for forging signatures on party petitions during the 2010 election. Also that year, The Journal News found that multiple donations to Sparaco’s failed State Assembly campaign came from sources reputed to be within the Colombo crime family.“
Assemblyman Zebrowski, who is the first senior Democrat to reject the Sparaco-controlled Independence Party’s support, has set an example for all principled politicians of both parties to emulate. Regrettably, however, despite early and repeated calls that Governor Cuomo not accept the nomination of what others have called a “corrupt organization”, Newsmax reported:
“New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the entire slate of statewide Democratic candidates have accepted the state Independence Party’s nomination to run on its line, despite advice not to accept the controversial party’s backing. Independence Party Chairman Frank MacKay told the New York Daily News that Cuomo, former Rep. Kathleen Hochul, who is running for lieutenant governor, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, and Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli have all sent letters to accept the nomination. Cuomo also accepted the party line in 2010. But some party leaders, especially Nassau County Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs, have called the Independence Party corrupt and demanded that candidates reject it. “You cannot be for ethics and good government and then turn a blind eye to the corrupt practices of [that] party. Those two things just do not go together,” Jacobs told the Daily News earlier this month.”
Democratic Congresswoman Nita Lowey also wished to take the Independence line in her run against Republican Chris Day but did not achieve the necessary number of valid signatures. Thus, Assemblyman Zebrowski stands alone on the principle of not seeking the corrupt Independence Party’s support leaving many in the Democratic and Republican parties disappointed that the Governor could not also have demonstrated the same courage and conviction as Zebrowski. Because of Governor Cuomo’s action New York State may have the non-independent Independence Party around for another four years instead of having it sink into disrespected political oblivion.
One can now only wonder what the members of the Clarkstown Town Board will do about Sparaco’s “legal racket” party come the November 2015 election. It is presumed that because of his political support in the past, Sparaco was given a 5 hour per day part-time job in the Town’s Highway Department by Wayne Ballard where he presently is paid $76,500 per annum to answer the telephone. Supervisor Gromack and Councilwoman Lasker have accepted this “corrupt” line in the past and both will be up for re-election with Councilman Borelli in the next local election.
Republican Highways Superintendent Ballard will also be up for re-election having benefitted from Sparaco’s absentee ballot collection activities which gave him the ultra left-wing Working Families party in his last election. His decision will be even more difficult than Gromack’s or Lasker’s given Sparaco’s low standing in Ballard’s party. He must surely realize that any further employment opportunities provided to Sparaco in the light of the departure of his ‘Confidential Secretary’, Nancy Willen, may well lead to a loss of support for Ballard himself within senior Republican ranks should he choose to seek any elective office in 2015.
Given these political rip-tide currents and with Sparaco’s surreptitious taping fiasco of Councilman Borelli and others, one can safely assume Sparaco will only be hawking his diminishing Independence Party wares to the two Town Board Democrats assuming, of course, his political “poster boy” Republican star status is still in the firmament come the 2015 election.