A former Senate nominee is suing what he calls a “fraudulent” political firm after it collected about 1,000 signatures for his campaign – almost all of them invalid.
Democrat John O’Hara claims he paid Sole Strategies — a progressive organization led by Zee Cohen-Sanchez that worked on the campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — about $20,000 to collect signatures, to put him in the ballot box in District 17. which includes Borough Park, Midwood and Sunset Park.
But the group has barely fulfilled their contract expiry, claims a lawsuit in Brooklyn Supreme Court. O’Hara was thrown out of the vote, as was his opponent Yu Lin. There was no primary, and remaining Democratic nominee Iwen Chu advanced to the general election against Republican Vito LaBella.
“Some of those signatures came from miles outside of the district. A few were from the Bronx, so that’s just folks [Sole Strategies] found on the street,” said O’Hara, who is seeking $125,000 in damages. “Some weren’t even registered Democrats.”
The lawsuit insists that a report by the city’s Elections Committee found that four out of five signatures submitted by O’Hara were from outside the county.
“This is one of the worst-run petition lines I’ve ever seen,” said O’Hara’s attorney, Ezra Glazer. “Yes, it was a district area, but the bottom line is that these were collected in a completely bizarre, unprofessional and unmanageable way.”
The firm called O’Hara’s lawsuit defamatory: “John O’Hara’s project was completed exactly in accordance with the terms of the contract. He expressed to us how pleased he was with the Field Captain assigned to him and even extended and paid for a second project after completing the first with us. After completion, he never expressed dissatisfaction, nor did he ever request a refund.”
O’Hara rose to fame in the 1990s as the first person to be convicted of electoral crimes in New York since Susan B. Anthony in 1872, when women did not have the right to vote. He voted in Sunset Park, about 12 blocks from where he actually lived, prosecutors said. A judge acquitted him in 2017.
https://nypost.com/2022/09/10/political-firm-scams-would-be-state-senator-lawsuit-says/ Political firm “cheated” would-be senator, lawsuit says