For those not too familiar with the term, a Wilson Pakula is an authorization given by a political party to a candidate seeking public office in New York which allows the candidate to run on the political party’s line even though they are not registered for that party. This is sadly a way too common occurrence going on today that I think is destroying politics.
Some people would argue a Wilson Pakula for an individual because the person share’s in some of the beliefs of the party line they are seeking. My response to that argument would be that they should re-register with that party then. Others argue that an individual should be granted a Wilson Pakula because the party does not have any other people interested in running for that seat. My response to that argument would be that I would rather see my party’s line blank than allow voters to be duped into voting for a Democrat or Liberal or what have you because their name is on the Republican line.
This is a disgraceful practice in politics that has been abused for far too long. Often I feel that when a Wilson Pakula is being suggested for an individual, there is also more to the story than what is being told. Was a deal made in the back room of an office in Albany or a corner table of a neighborhood restaurant? A little quid pro quo?
The initial intent of the law put into place in the 1940s was to protect the Republican and Democrat parties in NY from losing elections to individuals running on their lines that were associated with the American Labor Party, which had close ties to the Communists. Yes, the Communists. My how far we have strayed from protecting our party lines from Communists during the Cold War to just handing our lines over to people of other party affiliations.
A court case, Werbel v Gernstein, held that “the Wilson-Pakula Law was designed to protect the integrity of political parties and to prevent the invasion into or the capture of control of political parties by persons not in sympathy with the principles of such political parties.” I ask that people remember that before they so aggressively try to convince people of their own party to go against their party’s values.