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Aug 24, 2010 10:28 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Calcaterra loses appeal to get back on ballot

Aug 24, 2010 10:28 AM

State Senate candidate Regina Calcaterra was dealt a major blow in her bid to get back on the November ballot on Wednesday afternoon when the State Supreme Court denied her appeal of a ruling stating that she was not a legal New York resident.

Ms. Calcaterra, a Democrat who hopes to run against Republican incumbent Kenneth P. LaValle for the 1st District seat, has not decided her next move yet, said Andrew Moesel, a spokesman for her campaign, on Thursday morning.

“We could appeal through the New York State Court of Appeals, which is the highest court in New York,” Mr. Moesel said. “We are still deciding whether to pursue that course of action. We should have an answer today, most likely.”

Ms. Calcaterra’s appeal was heard by the State Supreme Court Appellate Division 2nd Judicial Department on Tuesday, according to Mr. Moesel. At the time, he had expected a decision as early as Wednesday.

On August 9, Judge John C. Bivona decided that Ms. Calcaterra failed to meet the constitutional residency requirement—a continuous residency in the state of New York for five years immediately preceding an election to the State Legislature—because she could not demonstrate maintaining a residence in New York between November 2005 and May 2006. Additionally, the court decision states that Ms. Calcaterra’s conduct in Pennsylvania—which included surrendering her New York driver’s license, voting in Pennsylvania, maintaining a back account, obtaining a divorce and filing income taxes within that state—all constitute evidence that in the court’s “reluctant opinion” disproves her residency in New York and thus disqualifies her candidacy.

Prior to Wednesday’s ruling, campaign officials representing Ms. Calcaterra said they planned on charging ahead, having recently raised $138,000—the most an opponent to Mr. LaValle has raised “in decades,” Mr. Moesel said.

“We’re moving full speed ahead,” he said earlier this week, before the ruling. “We view this just as a speed bump ... ”

The objections to Ms. Calcaterra’s status as a candidate were waged by three citizen objectors: Ely V. Chaimowitz, Mary Magnificio and Maria Re-Kilmartin.

In a press release issued before her appeal was rejected, Ms. Calcaterra stated that although she owned property in New Hope, Pennsylvania, she spent a large amount of time in New York litigating the WorldCom case, in which she represented the State of New York Common Retirement Fund. And while that case was ongoing, she argued that she regularly resided in 
two New York City apartments leased by her law firm. She stated she also maintained her law license in New York.

“I was born in Suffolk County, raised in Suffolk County, and I pay property taxes in Suffolk County,” Ms. Calcaterra said in the press release. “The court has ample evidence that, even as I temporarily owned a home in Pennsylvania, I lived in New York, paid taxes here and represented a New York pension fund in a case that saved New York taxpayers millions of dollars.”

The first court decision outlines a timeline of Ms. Calcaterra’s residences and activities in both states. According to the decision, Ms. Calcaterra was admitted to the New York Bar in 1997, and the Pennsylvania Bar in 2004. She joined the Pennsylvania law firm of Barrack, Rodos & Bacine in 2004. That firm had no New York office.

Up until the summer of 2004, Ms. Calcaterra argued in the court decision, she lived with her husband in a condominium in the Bronx. After that, she purchased a home in New Hope with her husband, according to her testimony. She said she worked for the Pennsylvania law firm in Manhattan in March 2005, and in April or May 2005, the case was settled.

The court found evidence that executed a sub-lease agreement from May 15, 2006, to August 31, 2006, for a New York City apartment and a lease from September 1, 2006, to August 31, 2007, for another apartment. The marital home in Pennsylvania was sold in June 2006, and in January 2007 Ms. Calcaterra bought a home in New Suffolk.

But the court’s issue stands with verifying her residency in New York between November 2005 and May 2006.

Mr. LaValle’s campaign manager, Joann Scalia, said the objectors waging the claim have no relation to Mr. LaValle. “At this point, we’re going to run the campaign the same way we always run the campaign,” she said before the appeal was rejected. “The senator welcomes the debate with whoever the candidate will be.”

Suffolk County Democratic Committee Chairman Richard Schaffer said he views the case as one born out of fear on the part of the Republicans. He said he believes the judge’s original decision was incorrect.

“This is done by the Republicans,” Mr. Schaffer said. “They’re fighting Regina … because she’s an incredible candidate. She’s raised a lot of money, she’s been out and about the better part of the year with voters, and they sense she’s a threat.”

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Typical republican games
By dagdavid (646), southampton on Aug 18, 10 2:11 PM
Even if so, sounds like she doesn't meet the requirements. Do you propose we bend the rules for her? She shouldn't have voted in PA for one. Paying taxes can be done in multiple states, but voting only in one..... she made her choice.
By ICE (1214), Southhampton on Aug 18, 10 5:04 PM
wow thats hypocritical
By 27dan (2656), south hampton on Aug 18, 10 7:33 PM
If Hillary Clinton can run, so should this woman.
By xatiannorthsea (16), southampton on Aug 19, 10 3:40 PM
Ronald Reagan was a big government president who raised taxes and gave amnesty to millions and would not be able to pass the republican party's litmus test today.
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Aug 19, 10 4:57 PM
dd: "Typical republican games "

Typical DD whiny sour grapes. She was not a legal candidate per the court.

Stop sniveling, suck it up and get behind Jennifer Maertz.
By Frank Wheeler (1810), Northampton on Aug 20, 10 12:02 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By joe hampton (3322), south hampton on Aug 18, 10 3:04 PM
Mrs. Calcaterra just needs to find the art of community organization
By joe hampton (3322), south hampton on Aug 18, 10 5:09 PM
Joe Hampton, is every single article an opportunity for you to attack the president? Give it a rest already.
By progressnow (556), sag harbor on Aug 19, 10 3:47 PM
OK lets work on the speaker of the house for a while ;)
By joe hampton (3322), south hampton on Aug 19, 10 10:41 PM
The Republicans had nothing to do with this. The Democrats tripped over their own clumsy feet....Again. The guy behind this was Ms. Calcaterra's Democratic opponent, Greg Fisher. The irony here is that Greg petitions to be put on the ballot were postmarked late!!! Ms. Calcaterra lost her appeal earlier this afternoon and Ken may well run opposed. It's just the standard Democratic Party tragedy. I think Shakespeare may have penned their game plan for this election cycle.

I am so embarrassed ...more
By Split Rock (68), Sag Harbor on Aug 18, 10 6:41 PM
Five years continued residency? How in then in New York Hell did Hillary Clinton become a candidate for US Senate? Something does not seem right here.
By xatiannorthsea (16), southampton on Aug 19, 10 3:39 PM
Hillary Clinton was as you said a US Senator, the office being sought here is State Senator, which has different requirements. See below....

Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution sets three qualifications for senators: 1) each senator must be at least 30 years old, 2) must have been a citizen of the United States for at least the past nine years, and 3) must be (at the time of the election) an inhabitant of the state he or she seeks to represent.
By ICE (1214), Southhampton on Aug 19, 10 9:05 PM
Calcaterra bows out: http://www.27east.com/story_detail.cfm?id=297244&town=
By BOReilly (135), 27east Web Editor on Aug 19, 10 4:37 PM
Also Madam ( progressnow)
I am sleeping much better these days knowing the country is waking up to the sham.

Thursday, August 19 , 2010 updated 2;00 PM EST
Approve 41%
Disapprove 52 %
And thats Gallup....Wow!
By joe hampton (3322), south hampton on Aug 19, 10 10:54 PM
Last time I checked, O hasn't been in office for the last thirty years, as the train slowly wrecked.

Give it a rest. I don't envy him, or the derailment he has inherited. At all.
By Mr. Z (11099), North Sea on Aug 23, 10 11:34 PM
LaValle prefers to run un-opposed. it gives him more time to wander about the state doing the "People's Work". he claims to have a plan to balance the state budget, but Albany wouldn't listen to him. Who Does????
By uncleronk (136), southold on Aug 25, 10 10:48 AM
How long has Lavalle been there? Over 30 years, right? That's a long time.
By clam pie (161), Westhampton on Aug 30, 10 10:43 AM
On the Hillary questions: Federal offices go by the Federal rules and state offices go by the state rules.

On the Regina questions: The entire thing was a big FIX from the start --- it was set in motion by high level members of BOTH parties. Check Regina out and see how far back and how dirty it goes --- depraved government influence traders are in the background. Now they put Maertz in to lose. I have filed a diciplinary complaint aganst Calcaterra and there will to be more named. ...more
By GregFischer (1), Calverton on Sep 10, 10 12:11 AM