Few behaviors are more demonstrative of a willingness to betray the public’s trust than to knowingly commit election fraud so egregiously that one’s license to practice law gets suspended.
That is precisely State Senate candidate Marc Panepinto’s background in politics. He is a longtime member of the Democratic Party committee, even serving as a “town chair,” (albeit a sluggish one, party insiders say). He prefers long summers at his Canadian beach house, they mummer.
Perhaps that was what led to his conviction. Petitions are circulated during the summer months — and who doesn’t prefer to be at the beach?
Still, it is hard to understand how an attorney who is deeply familiar with the law — a party insider who circulated petitions for decades — could be so stupid.
He forged the signatures of good, honest, law abiding Democrats — out of laziness and political lust — so that he could avoid the trouble of asking you for your support.
Our democracy is fragile, and Albany has long been in shambles, beleaguered by corruption and a culture of self dealing.To undermine the mechanics of our democracy so egregiously, so blatantly, so fundamentally — should disqualify that convict from holding high elected office.
The honorable thing for Mr. Panepinto to do would be to step aside and resign his campaign for New York Senate.
But in a political culture like ours, accountability is demanded of no one — so long as they have the money to dupe the voter like lemmings on a cliff.
Panepinto has already shown us his willingness to deceive us — even to forge the signatures of fellow Democrats onto a legal document. It is a fact: he is willing to lie to the public for self gain.
To send him to Albany — where the temptation to lie, cheat, and steal will wildly intensify — would be an utterly self destructive miscarriage of democracy.
If Marc Panepinto lacks the class and integrity to step aside — whether out of narcissism or stubborn denial — then he should at least apologize for committing the acts of fraud to each voter whose name he falsified on election petitions. (I’m told there are hundreds of Democrats whose names appeared on the documents, particularly from North Buffalo, Tonawanda, and Kenmore, sources say).
We do not know for how many years Mr. Panepinto was doing this before he was caught.