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Gov. Hochul wants the Legislature to get Benjamin off the ballot – New York Daily News

New York’s highest court makes the monumental and correct decision to throw out the congressional and state Senate districts approved by Gov. Hochul and the Legislature as violating the state Constitution. The Legislature and governor respond not by moving all primaries to the new late August datebut by cooking up an instant bill to get the arrested former lieutenant governor off the ballot. That’s a bad look.

Because of Albany Democrats’ political greed in trying to redraw lines to elbow Republicans out of districts — thankfully stopped by the Court of Appeals — millions of dollars will now be wasted on two rounds of primaries, inconveniencing voters statewide and straining the well-documented limited capacity of the boards of election. Unless the Legislature acts.

It helps no one if Brian Benjamin stays on the ballot and garners the most primary votes regardless; then, the party insiders pick his replacement. Nor should anyone want Hochul, assuming she wins the primary, to have to run with someone who’s on a different page politically. If that were to happen, the blame would be shared with New York’s dumb system of making govs and lieutenants run separately, not as glued-together tickets.

And in theory, opening up New York’s notoriously rigid election law to permit people who’ve resigned, as Benjamin has, to remove their names from the ballot makes sense. It would also be wise to give a chance to get off the ballot to those who are fighting a serious illness and want to step aside.

But the bill to scrub Benjamin’s name is only about people who were arrested, as he was a few weeks ago. Such a narrow carveout is clearly a reverse bill of attainder, aimed at fixing one person’s problem — two, if you count Hochul.

When the Legislature meets tomorrow, its first priority must be consolidating the now-split primaries: have Assembly, Senate, Congress and statewide contests all on one day. Doing the governor a favor without fixing that problem first would be an insult to the voters of New York.

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