The requirements to run for the state senate in New York are pretty clear. You need to be 18, have lived in the New York for at least 5 years (preferably not with your parents) and most importantly, you must have been a full time resident of the senate district you want to represent for the 12 months immediately before the election.
So, if someone wanted to run against Antoine Thompson in New York’s 60th Senate district, that person would have to have lived in that district since at least November 2, 2009.
Over the weekend, the Ostrowski/Coniglio faction of the local WNY tea party endorsed a handful of candidates for this years state elections. Among them was Matthew Ricchiazzi. You might remember him from such failed campaigns like last year’s Mayoral race and most recently, last month’s Buffalo School Board election.
His first two attempts at getting on a ballot having failed, Mr. Ricchiazzi is looking for a trifecta with his current run against Antoine Thompson.
WNYmedia has learned that Mr. Ricchiazzi could be considered ineligible to run for the New York State senate’s 60th district seat.
Ricchiazzi recently sent a “press release” out trying to paint WNYmedia blogger and Carl Paladino supporter Rus Thompson as a democrat:
Monday morning, Ricchiazzi blasted off an email to just about every local media email address he could harvest – even the kid who covers the online-bargain beat for the Channel 2 morning infotainment hour got an email. In it, (see it here in its entirety), Ricchiazzi pleases his new political ally – Ostrowski – by blasting Erie County Republican Party chairman Nick Langworthy for, among other things, endorsing “Democrat Rus Thompson”. (Ricchiazzi’s website is here).
Anyone who knows Rus, even if by name only, can tell you that despite his current BOE status, Rus is about the farthest thing from a Democrat out there.
When dropping out of last year’s mayoral race, Ricchiazzi wrote:
Let’s be honest–a 23 year old, openly bisexual, half-Indian, registered Republican running for Mayor of Buffalo was a long shot.
Like his self-described sexual orientation (not that there’s anything wrong with that), Ricchiazzi is just as undecided about his political affiliation.
Matthew Ricchiazzi was a registered Democrat for most, if not just about all his voting life (six years):
In January of 2009, before President Obama was even inaugurated, Ricchiazzi changed his party affiliation to Republican.
Yet in numerous interviews over the last two years, Ricchiazzi has claimed to be a fiscally conservative, socially liberal “Republican”. Know any of those?
Hell, I’m a bleeding-heart liberal, but also consider myself a fiscal conservative. Do you know anyone on either side of the aisle that likes high taxes?
In his attempt to run for Buffalo School Board and sometime in April 2010, the Erie County Board of Elections sent Ricchiazzi mail which came back undeliverable. At the time, it was discovered Ricchiazzi did not live at the address on Brinton Street he supplied:
Until this morning, Ricchiazzi was considered an “inactive voter” by the Erie County Board of Elections. His voting record only tallied vote was in one Presidential Election back in 2004, which seems to also be the last time he was a legal resident of Erie County for the length of time needed to run for office.
After graduating from Sweet Home High School, Ricchiazzi attended Cornell University until 2008 and then Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management, until a few weeks ago.
Obviously, it’s hard to be a full time student at Cornell and live in north Buffalo. Ricchiazzi’s Facebook status reveals that he was living in Tompkins County as recently as May 15th:
And back in March when he was coming “home to
Buffalo Amherst” for spring break to collect petitions that would eventually be deemed invalid for the Buffalo School Board Election:
And in February when he was snowed in during an Ithaca snow storm:
Calls to the Tompkins County BOE confirm Ricchiazzi never registered at his most recent residence near Cornell University. When he filled out his Democrat -> Republican enrollment registration card in January 2009, he maintained his given address on Margaret Drive in Amherst, well outside the 60th Senate District.
Parts of the The NYS Public Officers law place a heavier burden on the residency of candidates as opposed to an average voter. If challenged in court, Ricchiazzi would have a hard time confirming his residency in the 60th district for 12 consecutive months. Due to the district falling in both Erie and Niagara County, the issue would have to be brought before the State Board of Elections and to State Supreme court in Albany county.
Are we meant to believe that Mr. Ricchiazzi wants to go to Albany to be a legislator, yet cannot be bothered to properly register to vote? Cannot be bothered to vote at all in five years? Are we meant to believe that he would well represent his prospective constituents, but cannot be bothered to meet (or research) the basic requirements to run for a particular public office?
While Jim Ostrowski denigrates his former allies, calling them “regular office seekers”, his coalition is busy endorsing a kid who in 2 years has run for 3 offices, doesn’t own a home, probably hasn’t paid a property or income tax, and who until today was not registered to vote, doesn’t vote, and quite possibly is now ineligible to run for the office he seeks to hold.
That’s not just sloppy. It’s lazy and stupid.