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Queens Chronicle

Dems strike back at vote rig charges

Cabán used ‘Trump-like tactics’ to undermine recount, says Meeks

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Posted: Thursday, July 11, 2019 10:30 am | Updated: 12:31 pm, Thu Jul 11, 2019.

After two weeks of vague charges by supporters of district attorney candidate Tiffany Cabán that the Queens regular Democrats are scheming to steal the election, leaders of the party this week struck back — denouncing the charges as “Trump-style politics” and calling her backers “outsiders” and “interlopers.”

Just as the slow-speed election heads into an unprecedented recount due to its closeness, Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens, Nassau), the head of the Democratic Party in Queens, gathered more than 50 party leaders and lawmakers on the steps of the Board of Elections headquarters on Queens Boulevard to defend the party against allegations it had somehow “tainted” the vote count in favor of the party-endorsed candidate, Borough President Melinda Katz.

“The process is fair,” Meeks told a news conference. “Everybody knows the rules.”

At issue are the seesaw results of the election so far.

On election night, Cabán appeared the winner by 1,090 votes.

But after a count of the 3,500 absentee ballots a week later, Katz popped into the lead by a shaky, 16-vote margin.

That’s when Cabán supporters began to question the count.

Meeks carefully avoided attacking Cabán personally for throwing doubt on the integrity of the process, saying “look at the people behind her.”

But “if you have people running around on Twitter or elsewhere with false conspiracy theories, then you do have the responsibility to stand up and say: ‘That’s not correct.’”

Others in the party leadership were less deferential.

Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Fresh Meadows), who dropped out of the DA’s race and threw his support to Katz days before the election, scored the Cabán campaign for “car[ing] more about Southeast California than Southeast Queens.”

The theme of Cabán supporters as “outsiders” rang through the news conference.

“It is a terrible thing happening to our communities when you have interlopers, where 80 percent of contributions is coming from people outside the state,” said state Sen. Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans).

A spokesman for Cabán directed requests for comment to a statement on the campaign’s website.

“While we have not found any evidence of fraudulent activity committed by the BOE,” it said. “we have found that a significant number of invalidated votes were wrongly discounted by the BOE.”

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