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Aug 23, 2010 2:57 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Maertz to face off against LaValle in Calcaterra's stead

Aug 23, 2010 2:57 PM

In a swift turn of events, Suffolk County Democrats have chosen Jennifer Maertz, a colleague of recently disqualified State Senate candidate Regina Calcaterra, to face off against incumbent Senator Kenneth P. LaValle in November.

Ms. Maertz entered the race with Ms. Calcaterra’s backing after Ms. Calcaterra, who resides in New Suffolk, failed to convince the State Supreme Court Appellate Division to overturn a decision throwing her off the ballot for failing to meet residency requirements to run for the State Legislature.

On Friday, Ms. Maertz, 34, emphasized that she and Ms. Calcaterra are both dedicated to the same goals. She said taking the reins on Ms. Calcaterra’s campaign so far has been a “seamless transition.”

“This campaign is not about the person,” Ms. Maertz said. “It’s about what needs to be changed in Albany. We might have changed the name, but we didn’t change the purpose of the campaign.”

Ms. Maertz, an attorney from Rocky Point, had shadowed Ms. Calcaterra during her campaign, according to Suffolk County Democratic Chairman Richard Schaffer. She was designated by the party’s committee on vacancies to take over on Thursday morning. “If we couldn’t have Regina, she’s the next best thing,” Mr. Schaffer said.

In a statement issued on Thursday afternoon, Ms. Calcaterra confirmed she will seek to appeal to the State Court of Appeals, but because of deadlines to place candidates on the ballot, she requested that Democratic Party and Working Families Party leaders designate Ms. Maertz as their candidate for State Senate in her stead.

“Jennifer’s platform is in complete sync with mine, and I want to let my supporters know that she will not just run as hard a campaign as I have, but she will provide Senate District 1 with the strong leadership and fighting spirit it has, for decades, been lacking in the State Senate,” Ms. Calcaterra stated.

Ms. Calcaterra’s first appeal was heard by the State Supreme Court Appellate Division 2nd Judicial Department on Tuesday, according to Andrew Moesel, a spokesman for her campaign.

On August 9, Judge John C. Bivona decided that Ms. Calcaterra failed to meet the constitutional residency requirement—a continuous residency in the state of New York for five years immediately preceding an election to the State Legislature—because she could not demonstrate maintaining a residence in New York between November 2005 and May 2006.

That decision, which disqualified her candidacy, was based on evidence of Ms. Calcaterra’s conduct in Pennsylvania, including surrendering her New York driver’s license, voting in the state, maintaining a bank account, obtaining a divorce and filing income taxes within the state. The objections to Ms. Calcaterra’s status as a candidate were waged by three citizen objectors: Ely V. Chaimowitz, Mary Magnificio and Maria Re-Kilmartin.

Ms. Maertz said she is a lifelong resident of the 1st State Senate District.

Prior to Wednesday’s ruling, campaign officials representing Ms. Calcaterra said they had raised $138,000—the most an opponent to Mr. LaValle has raised “in decades,” according to Mr. Moesel. Ms. Maertz said she is planning to embark on her own fund-raising campaign but said she might be receiving some financial assistance from the former candidate. “We haven’t finalized that,” she said.

Joann Scalia, Mr. LaValle’s campaign manager, said the incumbent’s campaign will remain unchanged, regardless of his new opponent.

“Senator LaValle remains focused on the needs of the residents of the 1st Senatorial District,” she said. “He runs on his record and will continue to fight in Albany to strengthen our economy, reduce taxes and create jobs. He understands the importance of ensuring a suburban agenda in Albany and welcomes the debate with whoever the candidate may be.”

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Another person no one has heard of before on the Twin Forks.
By Mr Suffolk (113), Twin Forks on Aug 19, 10 5:43 PM
Let's see, a place where the "common man" is drowned out by the "rich and famous"?

Nah, not here on the Twin Forks.

This is where "status quo" garners a new, almost incoherent meaning. What we have here, is fiscal wealth on 'cid.

It's really no shock that a complete unknown would be the next to challenge anyone for a seat in these parts. It's hard enough to survive, let alone garner yourself a paid education. A "rouge scholar" would not only be the best we people have ...more
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 19, 10 9:08 PM
Talked with some people who've been making phone calls on behalf of Ms. Calcaterra . Doesn't seem to matter what the caller says about her, but when the caller says her opponent's been up in Albany for 34 years while the State Senate's been deteriorating into the joke it is now, people really perk up and say it's time for a change. This suggests that whether it's Regina Calcaterra or Jennifer Maertz running against him, Ken Lavalle's going to have a big problem in the present anti-incumbent climate.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Aug 19, 10 9:10 PM
2 members liked this comment
As long a they don't end up playing "third fiddle", I'm ready to can current sitting idiots. And savants, they ain't.

Ever heard of "synchronous resonance"?

It's what happens when you are elected with the best of intentions, and become part of the problem...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 19, 10 9:35 PM
TB: "Ken Lavalle's going to have a big problem in the present anti-incumbent climate."

That may be or may not but at this moment it is wishful drum-beating on your part.
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Aug 19, 10 11:58 PM
And would it also be "wishful drum-beating" if you said the same thing about Tim Bishop? If you did, I wouldn't call it that. It's true, and despite the fact that Mr. Bishop has only been where he is for 10 years (versus Ken Lavalle's 34 years), and also despite the fact that Bishop's U.S. House of Representatives hasn't become quite the joke that Lavalle's N.Y. State Senate has, and also despite the fact that each of Bishop's potential opponents is badly flawed,it will be a problem for him, because ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Aug 25, 10 11:41 AM
My mistake -- Tim Bishop has only been in office for 8 years, not 10 years.
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Sep 9, 10 12:30 PM

I vote for Sponge Bob.
By Noah Way (450), Southampton on Aug 19, 10 11:44 PM
Actually, I'm drunk, FINALLY.

I vote for "no man"!.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 20, 10 3:47 AM
1 member liked this comment
too too bad for us. we'll be stuck with LaValle as we have been in the past. just another stately old man who has been around about 30 years too many.
By uncleronk (136), southold on Aug 20, 10 9:47 AM
Nassau and Suffolk Counties do not need a State Senste or State Assembly. In the passed 50 years both county's are paying the HiIGHEST PROPERTY TAXES IN THE COUNTRY. Does Shoreham, LILCO ring a bell? how about the money that was stolen in take over by LIPA? now we have National Grid running the show and my electric bill went up 50% from last year! No we need to put THE ENTIRE SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT OUT TO PASTURE ! THEY ARE ALL OWNED, BOUGHT AND SOLD BY CORPORATE ROBBER BARONS.
By rrc1049 (63), Bridgehampton on Aug 21, 10 9:26 AM
So you advocate getting rid of government and having corporations take over? Good luck.
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Aug 21, 10 11:09 AM
Listen progress. What we are advocating is small government and the right for corporations to FAIL! no more bail outs. The government is out of control and so are to unions. As for Wall street what they do should be transparent and lawful. Beyond that what they do should be up to them. If they want to pay a CEO ridiculous $ fine, but when you go bankrupt your done. Let the system work.We believe in a minimum wage and a safe work place but after that if you do not like your job get a new one.INDIVIDUAL ...more
By 27dan (2854), south hampton on Aug 21, 10 3:45 PM
2 members liked this comment
What the heck are you ranting about? The government is out of control? Wrong - the government WAS out of control and Reagan started the entire downward spiral of deregulation. Let the system work? You're kidding, right? What you mean is allow corporations to run themselves so more miners can die, more taxpayers can lose billions, more people can be harmed from unsafe products, so factories can go back to spilling waste into the rivers, and bankers can run roughshod with YOUR money. Sorry, ...more
By peoplefirst (787), Southampton on Aug 22, 10 7:50 PM
I see one hole in the previous hypotheses. "Too big to fail" corporations already have their tentacles in our government. It noticeably began with Donald Regan (Merrill-Lynch), and the election of Ronald Reagan. Alumni of Goldman Sachs followed Regan's example, and without hesitation, or reservation HIJACKED, yes HIJACKED our democratic processes. Not only that, they lined their own pockets to the tune of about thirty million dollars in the process. I believe most people would call that skimming ...more
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 22, 10 12:19 AM