County Democrats Need Compromise Rather Than Conflict

It is not a surprise that Democrats on the Chautauqua County Legislature were defeated in court over their pick to be the next Democratic Election Commissioner.

We foresaw this outcome more than a month ago. The text of state law is clear, as state Supreme Court Justice Lynn Keane wrote in his decision in the case.

There are some who will take Keane’s decision to mean that Luz Torres should be immediately approved as the next election commissioner. But, that isn’t exactly what Keane wrote in his decision.

Keane said there is no burden on the county Democratic Committee to submit repeated certificates for review and approval by the County Legislature. Nothing in the law says the consent process ends after two candidates have been submitted and denied, so legislative Democrats can decide at their next meeting to approve either Torres or Doris Parment to be the next Democratic Election Commissioner or not select either of the candidates. Then the county committee can submit another name.

“It has been said that reasonable minds can differ, and there is no better example of a healthy democracy than a system of checks and balances that rewards compromise,” Keane wrote.

Few truer words have ever been said. It’s time for Democrats to compromise rather than continue this internecine conflict.


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