Dems claim Mark-Viverito is trying to get pal a job in ‘November surprise’

By Carl Campanile
November 21, 2017

Lame duck Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is trying to appoint a pal to a key patronage post at the city Board of Election in a “November surprise” before she leaves office, outraged Democratic Party leaders charge.

Mark Viverito wants to name gay activist and environmental lawyer Andy Praschak as the next Manhattan Democrat Party commissioner on the elections board.

Praschak also has ties to Puerto Rico, where he served for decades as a top official for the US Environmental Protection Agency.

But Manhattan Democratic Party leader Keith Wright and other party brass oppose the selection of Praschak as a power grab by the term-limited speaker from East Harlem.

“As a `November surprise,’ City Council Speaker has scheduled a vote to replace the Manhattan Democratic Board of Elections Commissioner Alan Schulkin with her close associate Andy Praschak, in direct contravention of your vote as District Leaders,” Manhatan Democratic Party executive director Barry Weinberg wrote in an email to party officials.

“I would strongly urge you, as members of the Executive Commmittee of the NY County Democratic Committee, to call your council members and urge them to vote `No’ . . . The Speaker must not usurp your prerogative as the county party to recommend the Democratic Commissioner from Manhattan given your responsibilities of working closely with the BOE to ensure elections are administered efficiently and justly.”

Mark-Viverito, through a spokeperson, did not deny that she wants to appoint Praschak to the post.

“We’re considering all our options,” the Council spokesperson said.

Allen Roskoff, head of the LGBT Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, slammed Mark-Viverito’s move as sneaky.

“It’s not fair to the people of New York City. [Praschak] will be nothing more a political operator for Melissa Mark-Viverito. He’ll be her hatchet man,” Roskoff said.

Praschak would replace holdover Manhattan Democratic Commissoner Alan Schulkin, who came under fire last year after being depicted in an undercover video tape claiming the city’s muncipal ID program contributed to voter fraud.

All the Democrats in the City Council must vote to approve the next Manhattan party commissioner.



  1. Hon. Eric Adams
  2. George Arzt
  3. Lance Bass
  4. John Blair
  5. Mark Benoit
  6. Hon. Rodneyse Bichotte
  7. Hon. Jonathan Bing
  8. Erik Bottcher
  9. Robin Byrd
  10. Hon. Gale Brewer
  11. Christian Campbell
  12. Gus Christensen
  13. Hon. Martin Connor
  14. Hon. Jon Cooper
  15. Wilson Cruz
  16. Hon. Laurie Cumbo
  17. Alan Cumming
  18. Valorie Curry
  19. Michael Czaczkes
  20. Hon. Bill de Blasio
  21. Jon Del Giorno
  22. Aries Dela Cruz
  23. Kyan Douglas
  24. Hon. Daniel Dromm
  25. James Duff
  26. Hon. Ronnie Eldridge
  27. Hon. Rafael Espinal
  28. Hon. Herman Farrell
  29. Hon. Alan Fleishman
  30. Hon. Dan Garodnick
  31. Dan Gettleman
  32. Jason Goldman
  33. Emily Jane Goodman
  34. Hon. Mark Green
  35. Tony Hoffmann
  36. Hon. Brad Hoylman
  37. Binn Jakupi
  38. Hon. Letitia James
  39. Hon. Corey Johnson
  40. Camille Joseph
  41. Phillip Keane
  42. Greg Lambert
  43. Dodge Landesman
  44. Phillip McCarthy
  45. Matt McMorrow
  46. Michael Mallon
  47. Mike C. Manning
  48. David Mansur
  49. Cathy Marino-Thomas
  50. Troy Masters
  51. Hon. Carlos Menchaca
  52. Hon. Rosie Mendez
  53. John Cameron Mitchell
  54. Donny Moss
  55. Barry Mullineaux
  56. Hon. Paul Newell
  57. Denis O'Hare
  58. Noah Pfefferbilt
  59. Josue Pierre
  60. Bob Pontarelli
  61. Billy Porter
  62. Hon. Keith Powers
  63. Randy Rainbow
  64. Hon. Jenifer Rajkumar
  65. Hon. Gustavo Rivera
  66. Hon. Helen Rosenthal
  67. Maer Roshan
  68. Toby Russo
  69. Bill Samuels
  70. James Sansum
  71. Scott Sartiano
  72. Hon. Arthur Schwartz
  73. Lynn Schulman
  74. Frank Selvaggi
  75. Rev. Al Sharpton
  76. Hon. Jo Anne Simon
  77. Tom Smith
  78. Anne Strahle
  79. Hon. Scott Stringer
  80. Wayne Sunday
  81. Hon. Bill Thompson
  82. JD Thompson
  83. Hon. Matt Titone
  84. Hon. Ritchie Torres
  85. Sam Underwood
  86. Jessica Walter
  87. Patricia Nell Warren
  88. Wil Weder
  89. Seth Weissman
  90. Mel Wymore
  91. Emma Wolfe
  92. Hon. Keith Wright
  93. Zephyr Teachout