Sunday, April 10, 2005

Local: Mayor Malloy Keeps The Faith

"Well, hello, Dog," laughed Erin Malloy as I introduced myself to her this afternoon on Irvington's main street.

Ms. Malloy, the mayor-elect of Irvington, NY has been the focal point of another attack of Republican YADA (Yet Another Disenfranchisement Attempt) as she is kept from assuming the mayoral post she won weeks ago.

On this beautiful spring afternoon, the tenacious Malloy had set up shop on the weathered park bench in front of Irvington Town Hall to listen to the concerns of Irvington residents (until Dennis Flood decides it's time to clean out his desk).

"It's an absolutely beautiful day," said Malloy, as she cheerfully greeted village residents. "The sun is clearly shining on my cause."

Flood, the longtime, uncontested Mayor of Irvington has used the Republican party's election-winning machine to try to delay the victory that Malloy has clearly achieved.

While Flood and his Albany lawyer failed to keep the lone contested vote from breaking the tie in the March 15 election – "open the ballot," sternly intoned New York Supreme Court Justice Joan Lefkowitz in the last court battle – they have now adopted a new strategy.

The litigation continues on April 11 as the old Mayor attempts to get the court to nullify the election based on "irregularities" that, oddly enough, occurred on Flood's watch as Irvington's chief executive. The case is again before Judge Lefkowitz, and all local Democrats – and I'm sure most Irvington residents – are hoping the case will be closed and that Erin Malloy can finally enjoy a victory that was unnecessarily tough in coming.

A nearby mini-van was decorated with a sign announcing "Mayor Malloy's Temporary Office" in a showing that was both sad and inspirational. It is indeed sad that a duly elected official has to do business on a park bench because, once again, a Republican is fighting tooth and nail to keep votes from being counted.

But it is uplifting in so many other ways. While clearly exhausted from a winning effort that Republicans have forced her to keep contesting, she's anxious to meet Irvington residents and to begin the work of serving the village. But it's also a bit larger than that to some of us in the Democratic party.

Erin Malloy is a fighter. She is clearly drawing a line in the sand and saying "no more" to the schoolyard-bully antics of the Republican party. She's done it while maintaining her charm and sense of humor under circumstances that would challenge the civility in most people.

She's smart, tough, and she's not gonna take it any more. And that, my friends, is exactly the kind of Democrat we need more of in our party.