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Bonarigo campaign announces successful petition drives for six lines on City Court ballot

By Howard B. Owens

Press release:

Citizens to elect Ben Bonarigo for City Court Judge are pleased to announce that the required signatures have been collected to qualify him the for Democratic, Republican, Conservative, Working Families, Green and Independence lines on the ballot for the June 25th primary election. Bonarigo submitted more than 1,100 signatures.

“I can’t thank everyone enough,” Bonarigo said. “Our volunteers and supporters carried petitions in some very difficult weather conditions to achieve our goal and they did it very quickly. We had a highly dedicated and fantastic team of individuals.”

Although our judges are elected, the job they do is not a political one. They are to remain impartial, unbiased and not beholden to any political party. Bonarigo’s willingness and determination to obtain primary ballot status for all party lines demonstrates his commitment to fairness and impartiality to all the citizens in the City of Batavia regardless of their party affiliation.

"My goal is to allow as many city voters as possible, a choice in deciding who will be their next judge,” he said. 

John Roach

Just to make it clear, he is not the endorsed candidate of the Republican, Conservative or the Independence parties. He will run in a primary for them against the endorsed candidate, Judge Durin Rogers.

Apr 5, 2019, 2:24pm Permalink
Rich Richmond

John, everything you said is true and factual. More facts: he is a registered Democrat. He respectfully went to the City of Batavia Democrat Committee, asked for their endorsement and received it.

He respectfully went to the City of Batavia Conservative Party for their endorsement and was denied it. He did not respectfully go to the City of Batavia Republican Committee and ask for their endorsement; instead, he created a Committee called “Citizens to elect Ben Bonarigo for City Court Judge.” Impartial means treating all fairly and equally.

Republicans are allowed by election law to circulate Republican petitions, Conservatives, and all other's the same for their party. Notary Publics and Lawyers may circulate any Party’s petitions. Notary Publics or Lawyers are not required to live in the City of Batavia, to pass a petition for a City Court Judge. They may live anywhere in the State of New York, for example, such as Albany, Buffalo, or Rushford Lake. That being said, only citizens living in the City of Batavia may vote for City Court Judge.

In fairness, and impartiality to the Republican-citizens- voters in the City of Batavia; in the Spirit of Transparency, and Full Disclosure did his Committee (“Citizens to elect Ben Bonarigo for City Court Judge”) circulating his petitions say, “I’m a Republican, or I’m an Attorney, or I’m a Notary Public. Will, you sign this Republican petition to get a registered Democrat, already on the Democrat-line, to force a Republican Primary, against the Honorable Judge Rogers, the officially endorsed Republican Candidate?”

Apr 7, 2019, 9:30am Permalink
Daniel Norstrand

It's bringing about a primary. That means more information about the candidates for the people to make a sound decision. Where is the downside? All these "facts" you cite sounds like an attempt to make people think that something underhanded is at play. And you seem to have dug pretty deep to find "facts" coupled with conjecture to do so. This type of pure partisanship is what a fair and honest man/woman would, and should try to overcome.

Apr 6, 2019, 9:39am Permalink
John Roach

Daniel, both a Primary or General election would bring out the same information, but that is not the issue. I went door to door helping get signatures for Judge Rogers.Too many Republicans and Conservatives said they had signed already for Mr. Bonarigo and were not made aware he was not the endorsed party candidate or even a member of their party, but a Democrat. And a good number of them (but not all) said they would not have signed his petition if they had known he was not a party member. They felt tricked.

Apr 6, 2019, 10:53am Permalink
Daniel Norstrand

So are you just a volunteer for the Republican committee John or are you a member of the committee? Such "facts" should be known as you expound on the virtues of one candidate while casting shade on another. Do you have political aspirations of your own? It would be fair and impartial if those aspects were clear. Face to face canvassing often has people supporting both sides as people don't like to disappoint. The process has already brought out information I wasn't privy to. That you have strong ties to the Republican committee.

Apr 6, 2019, 1:13pm Permalink
John Roach

Daniel, I am a member of the Conservative Party Committee and got signatures for our endorsed Conservative Party candidates. I also walked with 3 of my friends who are Republicans running for Office in the City this year while they were getting signatures.
However, I am touched by your interest.

Apr 6, 2019, 3:39pm Permalink
Daniel Norstrand

Well john it seems like kettle black to be commenting that you think your competition was less than up front while you have neglected to mention that you are a committee member through months of political comments. Kinda throws shade on all you offer.

Apr 7, 2019, 10:44am Permalink
Howard B. Owens

The idea that a candidate for judge is endorsed by any political party is just insane. Judgeships should be completely non-partisan. All parties would do a favor to the voters of Batavia by completely stepping away from judgeship races. No endorsements for anybody.

Apr 7, 2019, 12:46pm Permalink
Daniel Norstrand

Your idea is excellent Howard. The release above mentions that basic premise. Hopefully your expansion on the premise will get some traction. You can bet that the party/parties with the upper hand would not be in favor.

Apr 7, 2019, 1:02pm Permalink
John Roach

Daniel, "months of political comments". I have stated many times over the years my affiliation (while you have not). And my affiliation has nothing to do with the fact that many people did not know Mr. Bonarigo was not the endorsed candidate or that he was not a member of their party.

Apr 7, 2019, 2:22pm Permalink
Daniel Norstrand

I'm sure people know that I've been a very diligent reader of the Batavian for years, and a member of the comments community for nearly 3yrs. While I have suspected in the past that you probably had political aspirations, I never had a clue that you were in deed an entrenched political operative. Any way to search his comments Howard?
As for myself, I have mentioned before that I don't wear any brand. I vote for those who have the best interest of the people at heart if such a candidate is presented. Otherwise, as with everyone else, I try to vote for the lesser of evils. And by the way, I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of.... a party.

Apr 7, 2019, 6:06pm Permalink
Daniel Norstrand

Also "my affiliation has nothing to do with the "fact", as you state John, is just not true. The way you approach people, as well as the way you question people is influenced by your biases. Even if only subconsciously. It also matters that people think your just an unbiased observer when you talk one candidate up and another down. Not letting people know that you have much more skin in the game than a casual observer can unfairly sway their perception of the candidates.

Apr 7, 2019, 6:33pm Permalink
John Roach

Daniel, for all your pontificating, you'll deny us the joy of knowing your affiliation? Rather weak, but not unexpected.

Apr 7, 2019, 6:34pm Permalink
Daniel Norstrand

Pontificating? LOL, If you can't deny the message attack the messenger. I haven't pontificated. I have had to find truth through deduction and inquiry. Affiliation? I don't consider myself affiliated. I think the last time I registered it was as an independent. I have registered as a republican in the past because I wanted to vote in a primary, but I can't remember which one. I have voted for democrats and republicans and other parties as well. So that's as much as I can recall about my "affiliations" which means as i stated, I don't wear anyone's BRAND. "Rather weak." LOL. Weak is marching lock step and not respecting someone's ability to think for themselves. It's a big reason we're in wars up to our necks and pushing for more.

Apr 7, 2019, 7:48pm Permalink
Daniel Norstrand

It's also very telling John, that you have failed to make a comment on Howard's idea in #8. Political operatives don't like to give up power.

Apr 7, 2019, 7:58pm Permalink
John Roach

I do think that under the current system, if you are asking people of a political party to sign your petition to run, and you are not a member of that party, you should be honest about it and tell them. And tell them that you are not the endorsed candidate so the person has that information. A person running for Judge should be very forthcoming and transparent

Apr 7, 2019, 8:08pm Permalink
Daniel Norstrand

I don't really see where that has been established. You also haven't established that you ever let your status as a political operative be known to those you have been trying to sway in your comments over the months/years. All we have is your say, and as I pointed out early on there is some question about your willingness to be forthcoming. I have copies of virtually all of the comments I've made since early on in my membership so as to be able to back up my recollections of such. I would think that you would be able to find just where you divulged your status as a political operative. I know I would have filed that info into my perception of who you are if I'd have ever seen it. Howard knows that I mentally collect such info. It would have been very easy for you to lead in to your comments with "as a member of the conservative party committee..." Or "as a political operative for..."
As far as your statement that you don't care if Judgeships are political, I would think that you would care very much; if only as a citizen. If there is no good reason for it, it should be changed. Such a position should be insulated from politics. Now there's some pontificating you can hang your hat on.

Apr 7, 2019, 9:16pm Permalink
John Roach

Daniel, Judges have been elected and affiliated by party for hundreds of years in the United States, that is why I don't care which system is used. If people want it changed, that is OK with me. As for you not knowing my affiliation before, so what? If you missed it, too bad for you. And unlike you, my ego does not require me to save comments going back as far as 2008. And feel free to doubt Mr. Bonarigo and his help were not 100% transparent and honest when going to people who were Republicans, Independence and Conservatives and not telling them know he was a Democrat and not endorsed by either the Republican, Independence or Conservative Parties. It would be interesting to hear from any Green Party members. The Green Party has a policy of not endorsing anyone who is not a Green. Did Mr. Bonarigo or his help tell them he was not a Green? However,

As for you saying I'm a "political operative", I guess I'll have to buy a secret decoder ring, a bulletproof black sedan with an ejector seat, trench coat and slouched hat.

I think you and I have covered Mr. Bonarigo enough and probably started boring people days ago, so I'll let this drop.

Apr 8, 2019, 6:30am Permalink
Tim Miller

I find this whole idea of "endorsed candidate" atrocious (and you've all probably already figured out I'm a Dem who voted for Hillary Clinton). John - an "endorsed candidate" is simply the product of the political machine, and does not lead to a true democratic result.

I do agree with the part about being honest and stating one's political affiliation when getting signatures to run for office, and find it unethical that a lifelong Dem (or GOP) would gather signatures to run under the other banner without letting the signers know your past. At the same time, the fools who give their signatures without asking and demanding an answer are, well, fools.

Apr 8, 2019, 8:39am Permalink
John Roach

Tim, since candidates for public office since the late 1700's have run on party tickets, I have no problem with the current system. But if it was changed for judicial candidates, especially at the City and County level, that would be OK with me. We already have nonpartisan elections for school board members.

Apr 8, 2019, 9:41am Permalink
Howard B. Owens

"Tim, since candidates for public office since the late 1700's have run on party tickets ..."

Political parties used to be much less powerful and influential and they didn't reach into nearly every race at the state and local level. We didn't always have ballot access laws. We didn't always make running on a party line pretty much essential. So that's a bit disingenuous and it doesn't at all address the clearly unethical process of making judicial offices partisan. It's a dodge of that fundamental issue.

Our local political parties should refuse to endorse judicial candidates and stay out of judicial races. That would be the ethical thing to do. And judicial candidates should refuse endorsements and refuse to participate as partisans.

Apr 8, 2019, 11:01am Permalink
Tim Miller

Johh, I believe we agree on most of what you have written. My one issue is the repeated notation that the individual being discussed (and the source of disgust) spoke to people he was seeking signatures from, yet they "were not made aware he was not the endorsed party candidate".

The issue I have with this is that if a potential candidate wishes to get on their party's ballot, it seems like you are suggesting they should handcuff themselves and declare "I am running, and even though John/Jane Smith is the endorsed candidate of my party, I'd like your signature." I see no reason for a potential candidate to declare their party's leaders' preferences.

I do agree with you 100% that it was unethical to not let folks know the guy was a Dem when seeking signatures to be on the GOP ballot.

Hmmm - one possibility - the guy truly desires judicial elections be non-partisan, so he intentionally sought signatures to be put on the ballot for all parties. If that is the case and he was "making a statement", then not declaring his party makes sense... I don't know the guy, so I cannot make any statement for how much weight should be given to that idea.

Apr 8, 2019, 11:05am Permalink
Rich Richmond

Our Constitutional Republic is not perfect, because people are not perfect.

I circulated election petitions for the Republican Party in the Third Ward-six sheets with different names, including the Honorable Judge Rogers. My name was on one Petition to remain on the City of Batavia Republican Committee. We emphatically identified ourselves as the Offical City of Batavia Republican Committeemen and Committeewomen. That is total transparency and full disclosure.

Many in my Third Ward were not aware he was a life-long Democrat and they were upset. They thought he was a Republican, otherwise, they would not have signed his petition.

I walked with Republican Candidates, for City Council and the County Legislature in other Wards. Many who signed for him thought he was a Republican, and their anger and disgust was the same.

Making a true non-partisan statement, or running a non-partisan Campain, is not seeking the endorsement of any established Major Political Party! He could have created his own party or ran not affiliated. This would total transparency and full disclosure. No reasonable person could fault him for it. He didn't choose to do that. He wants all the party lines including the Green Party. There are 31 Green Party voters in the City Of Batavia. Get two (2) signatures, and you have that Party line on the ballot.

He's running primary's, and primary's cost money, ten grand or better all paid for by the taxpayers when one November Election will do, and let the best man win.

For the sake of argument, if he were to win the Republican and Conservative Primary, his would be the only name on the November Ballot for City Court Judge. That's one slick political, maneuver. How does that serve the common good and public interest?

Apr 8, 2019, 1:26pm Permalink
Daniel Norstrand

Actually I thought at one point that I should ask you the same questions I originally asked John, Rich. But I got caught up so with John... Sure took a while for that tidbit to be divulged. Gee all of these covert political operatives huddling together in the darkness of anonymity seems almost conspiratorial. I see proof of only one side being deviouly evasive. So did your gang of petitioners all go to the same house at the same time? I am kind of taking it for granted that you were one of the republicans who accompanied him on his mission. Since that also has not been divulged. If so John could have brought that out if you were indisposed Rich. Did you take turns holding each others cloak?

Apr 8, 2019, 3:44pm Permalink
John Roach

Sorry Dan, but I did not walk with Richard (with or without my spy glasses). Richard finding that Mr. Bonarigo and his help were not totally honest was all on his own. But I am glad that as another "political operative" he confirmed that same unethical behavior. And, I thank you for giving me another chance to point it out.

Apr 8, 2019, 4:12pm Permalink
Daniel Norstrand

You both still were the devious ones as far as I can see. And your backing each other on something neither of you mentioned in your original posts is rather suspicious. Especially when Rich (who also hasn't previously, to my knowledge, divulged his position as a republican operative) has been quietly observing without comment since his original from the 5th. Now he suddenly pops out of the closet to back your story. I would think that if you had gotten such info from the people you petitioned, you would have certainly talked about it to your committees and each other. And that such would be the first thing that you brought up. Or maybe you didn't think it was worth divulging your positions as operatives. Hmmmm.

Apr 8, 2019, 4:26pm Permalink
Rich Richmond

Dan, you do realize it is a matter a public record. Its called full disclosure, transparency and open government; all that good stuff.

You don’t have to FOIL it or look on the dark web.

Telephone the Genesee County Board of Elections to get a list of all your secret, in your mind, covert political operatives-Committee People for any political party. So that you know, it will be on paper and not microfilm. When you receive it, you can post our names on the Batavian.

I encourage you to do so, and please continue to share your thoughts and suspicions with us. Also, my favorite color is blue. That doesn’t mean I’m sad.

Apr 8, 2019, 7:52pm Permalink
John Roach

Daniel, did you notice Mr. Bonarigo did not say in the press announcement anywhere he is an enrolled Democrat? I guess that under your criteria, his not stating that affiliation, Mr. Bonarigo would be a member of our spy group and a political operative (with trench coat). Why do you think he did not say he was not only a registered Democrat but a member of the local Democrat Committee (clearly, that makes him an operative)

Apr 8, 2019, 5:02pm Permalink
Daniel Norstrand

Bonarigo hasn't been commenting for years. I have registered with different parties and that doesn't define me. I'm sure many people feel the same way. You've both been exposed. I give people the benefit of the doubt unless given a reason to not. The information is available but I had no reason to believe I was being deceived... until you each "came out." Consequently I had no reason to seek information about members of political committees.

Apr 8, 2019, 10:53pm Permalink
John Roach

Oh no, Daniel has "exposed" me as a "political operative".
Bottom line here; Mr. Bonarigo, a registered Democrat and member of the Democrat Party Committee, went to people who belonged to other parities and asked them to sign their petitions, not telling them he was not a member of their party and another person (Judge Rogers) was the endorsed candidate of their party. All legal, but, in my opinion, a bit unethical or sneaky for a person who wants to be a Judge. Daniel is just fine with that kind of behavior. That about sums it up if you're done Dan.

Apr 9, 2019, 5:44am Permalink
Rich Richmond

Daniel, you said, you've registered with different parties, and haven't divulged them? You refuse to give a straight answer. Why so evasive. I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt until now. What parties did you sign up for? Are you talking about Super Bowl Parties, or Avon, Tupperware; Mary Kay, perhaps?

You imagine in your mind that you exposed us as "covert political operatives huddling together in the darkness of anonymity, when in fact we are open and honest about it.

Your writing defines you, so please, pretty please with sugar on continue to post your conspiracy theories and subsequent conclusions.

John, all is not lost. Don't panic. Daniel imagined he's exposed us. We must resist the temptation to remove the cyanide pills in the secret hollow cavity of our rear molar.

It was amusing, however as John said, "you're done, Dan.

Apr 9, 2019, 7:20am Permalink
Daniel Norstrand

I f the cloak fits... No makeup here ladies. No pretenses either. LOL. If you want to question my manliness rich, in person would be the only way a man would do so. So it's time for you to just curtsey and get on to your next performance. Or whatever it is you two do with each other. Again, there's no denying that you both have been less than forthcoming. No denying it. Attacking the messenger is a favorite political ploy.

Apr 9, 2019, 10:39am Permalink
John Roach

Daniel, you have the right to be stupid, but you are abusing that right. Tell us what parties you have been registered as a member of, in the spirt of true transparency Why have you hide that from us? And thanks again for the chance to mention again Mr Bonarigo, a registered Democrat and member of the Democrat Party Committee, failed to disclose his affiliation when asking people of other parties to sign his petitions. An ethical issue for a person running to be a City Court Judge.

Apr 9, 2019, 11:00am Permalink
Daniel Norstrand

You never answered as to why you hovered around this thread without commenting for 3 days while I was questioning and discerning that your cohort was or wasn't a member of the republican committee? While you were in the very same boat? Sure looks like you were reluctant to divulge rich. Whine all you want.

Apr 9, 2019, 10:46am Permalink
John Roach

Daniel, tell us again why you think the unethical behavior of Mr. Bonarigo is acceptable to you and again, tell us the political parties you have been registered in. You stated before how you keep good record of things, so that should be easy. Please include years.

Apr 9, 2019, 11:08am Permalink
Daniel Norstrand

I've told you about my background regarding political affiliations right in this thread. I'm not any kind of monkey for a political party. Too many of you are crooked. Stupid is failing to read what's already been written. My point is to bring out information that can help people to make an informed decision. The people who were approached by Bonarigo (or his people) know what went on at those interactions. They will decide how to vote. The people who have followed this thread have much more information now to apply to their decision. I can take petty name calling. From some ilk, I see such feeble attacks as complementary.
As in the past I challenge anyone to point out a "conspiracy theory" I have put forth that is not a true conspiracy, or has plenty of documentation to that end. Your current republican presidency is currently conspiring to depose a duly elected President Maduro of Venezuela. The conspiratorial mainstream press is all in with the conspiracy. They are also running the same con game with Syria and Iran. But I'm sure that "you can't handle the truth."

Apr 9, 2019, 11:26am Permalink
John Roach

I asked for more detailed and transparent information on your affiliations. Hard to believe you don't have that detail. You have to be hiding something under your trench coat. Personally, I think most people stopped reading this thread days ago. I guess I have to be right since you are trying to divert the unethical behavior of Mr. Bonarigo with what Trump may be doing. Again, thanks for letting me bring that up again. (Time out-have to go to Buffalo)

Apr 9, 2019, 11:27am Permalink

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