Wednesday, September 28, 2016

DiFalco Replaces Bernardo

Joe DiFalco is apparently the new Ulster County Independence Party Chairman reports Mid Hudson News.

This is major political news and could have major ramifications in next year's local elections.

Here is the article from Mid Hudson News.

DiFalco to chair Ulster County Independence Party committee
KINGSTON – Third party politics in Ulster County will shift direction next week, when Independence Party member Joseph DiFalco assumes control of the interim county committee.

A brief meeting has been scheduled for October 3, at Broadway Lights Diner, where DiFalco hopes to usurp the post from his longstanding rival. The official notices were served at the party’s state convention in mid-September.

DiFalco said he plans a very brief meeting, no longer than 15 minutes, to take over the county chairmanship.  “We’re not ordering any food, just a glass of water with lemon,” he said.

The current interim chairman, Len Bernardo, wielded considerable influence during his tenure, facilitating the election of his wife Terry into the county legislature, then legislative chairwoman. After losing her bid for a second term on the legislature, Mrs. Bernardo ran unsuccessfully against Michael Hein for county executive in 2015.
DiFalco, who leads the Independence Party within the City of Kingston, quietly assumed a position on the state committee this month, and used that opportunity to call a re-organizational meeting for the county committee.
Bernardo, who lives in the Town of Rochester, also sits on the state committee, in a separate senatorial district. He is additionally a member-at-large of the executive committee.

DiFalco, however, holds more weighted votes than Bernardo, and therefore decides local cross-endorsements. For the next two years, DiFalco will apparently be running the show.

Under Independence Party rules, members of the state committee choose who serves as interim county chairman. Ulster County is divided into several state senatorial districts, votes are weighted according to the last gubernatorial vote.

The Independence Party ballot line typically carries several hundred votes per municipality. Any election with a slim margin can be clinched by an Independence Party cross-endorsement.

Until now, that coveted political power was firmly wielded by Len Bernardo – who strongly favored Republican candidates.
DiFalco’s wife Ellen, currently a Democrat, previously served as confidential secretary to Kingston Mayor Shayne Gallo; and also was former clerk of the county legislature.

Mr. DiFalco played a key role in unseating Third Ward Kingston Alderman Brad Will in an ethics scandal last year. DiFalco continues to pursue further ethics charges against the mayor and city attorney, while officials scramble to rewrite the law.

A retired New York City Teamster, DiFalco frequents City Hall meetings wearing shorts and a fisherman hat, irking factional Democrats with his abrasive Archie Bunker mannerisms.

Opponents expressed discontent at DiFalco’s ascension."