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Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Citizens Union
 

Working Families Party

Working Families Party

  • govcuomo office pr

    (photo via the Governor's office)


    As New York lumbers out of its double primary season and rolls into a general election that’s being closely watched for its potential to give Democrats control of the state Senate and therefore the entire Legislature, another issue more central to the democratic process itself is being debated in pockets across the state.

    Fusion voting, the practice of allowing one candidate to take multiple political party ballot lines in a single election and aggregate the votes received on each, is under the gun as both Democratic

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  • cuomo smiling andrewcuomo

    Gov. Cuomo (photo: @andrewcuomo)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo, emboldened after a sizeable Democratic primary victory, and an invigorated progressive movement with recent wins of its own, are again forced to grapple with the rift between them, as the factions must decide what steps they are willing to take to unite in the aftermath of a contentious primary season.

    Facing a handful of general election opponents

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  • loft law presser

    Senator Martin Dilan (Photo: Sen. Dilan's Office)


    A campaign fundraising committee set up to bankroll the state Senators from the erstwhile Independent Democratic Conference was recently ruled to have been illegal by a state Supreme Court judge. Campaign finance records show that Brooklyn Senator Martin Dilan, who was never part of the IDC but is facing a tough primary challenge this year, was also a beneficiary of thousands of dollars spent by that committee for his last reelection campaign, a fact opponents are using as fodder to criticize his commitment to the Democratic

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  • Cynthia Nixon, Jummane Williams, and Alessandra Biaggi

    Cynthia Nixon (left), Alessandra Biaggi (top right), Bill Lipton & Jumaane Williams (bottom)


    The Working Families Party celebrated its 20th anniversary last month at Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg, with its rank-and-file cheering on a line up of politicians that have served as standard bearers, past and present. But it’s the future of the party that is especially uncertain as the upstart liberal organization lays it all on the line in backing insurgent candidates in state elections this year.

    In doing so,

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  • nixon wfp via nixon twitter

    Cynthia Nixon and the WFP (photo: @CynthiaNixon)


    If Cynthia Nixon is unsuccessful in her attempt to defeat Governor Andrew Cuomo in the September 13 Democratic primary, she is likely to vacate the Working Families Party ballot line for the general election in order to avoid playing “spoiler” by pulling votes from Cuomo and helping elect another candidate, such as Republican gubernatorial nominee Marc Molinaro.

    While Nixon has been endorsed by the Working Families Party, in a move that has put the WFP’s existence at risk, the party has arranged a

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  • cuomo hochul bus stop

    Gov. Cuomo and Lt. Gov. Hochul (photo: Governor's Office)


    With the September primaries for New York state elections fast approaching, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, both Democratic incumbents, are being forced to defend their records in challenges from the left. While many other elected officials and labor unions are supporting the incumbents, a wide swath of activists that form part of the party’s base is supporting challengers to Cuomo, Hochul, and a group of state senators who, until recently, made up the rogue Democratic faction

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  • Cynthia Nixon Facebook rally

    Nixon in New Paltz (photo: Cynthia for New York Facebook)


    If elected governor, Cynthia Nixon is promising to “transform New York" into a state “for the many” but her campaign for governor is already rapidly transforming the landscape of New York politics. She is putting pressure on incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo, whom she hopes to defeat in the Democratic primary, and broadening her supporter base by linking up with the Working Families Party and other liberal groups that have endorsed her.

    Three-and-a-half months from the September 13 primary,

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  • cyn nixon

    Cynthia Nixon (photo: @CynthiaNixon)


    Cynthia Nixon is “unsurprised” by the result of the state Democratic party convention held this past week on Long Island, where she received less than five percent of the party committee members’ vote ahead of the gubernatorial primary election in September, much less than the 25 percent she needed to have her name automatically included on the ballot.

    The result means Nixon will have to petition thousands of people across the state to appear on the primary ballot against two-term incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo, an endeavor she

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  • Cynthia Nixon WFP nomination

    Cynthia Nixon at the WFP convention (photo: Make The Road Action)


    It’s political party convention season as this state and federal election year heats up in New York, with federal primaries on June 26, state primaries September 13, and the general election November 6.

    Over the weekend, the Working Families Party and Green Party held their nominating conventions on Saturday and the Reform Party held its on Sunday. This week the Democratic and Republican state parties will hold their conventions, nominating candidates for the

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  • tish ag kickoff in bk sara valenzuela

    Public Advocate Letitia James at her AG campaign kickoff (photo: @saritamanhattan)


    New York City Public Advocate Letitia James officially launched her campaign for attorney general on Wednesday, seeking to make history as the first woman of color to serve as the state’s top legal officer.

    James, who is serving her second and final term as public advocate, and is the first woman of color elected to a citywide position, is running in the Democratic primary to replace former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who

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  • zephyr teachout anti idc rally

    Zephyr Teachout at an anti-IDC rally (photo: Ben Max)


    The recent resignation of former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sent shockwaves through the New York political world, and with just six months until New Yorkers elect a new attorney general in November, it sent potential candidates scrambling. Political party nominations are being decided, ballot spots must be secured, and party primaries are September 13.

    Soon after Schneiderman’s departure amid accusations that he was physically abusive of four women he had been

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  • howie h gov

    (photo via Facebook: @HowieHawkinsForGovernorPolitician)


    That didn’t take long. On Saturday, April 13 the Working Families Party endorsed Democrat Cynthia Nixon for New York Governor. By the following Tuesday, the WFP said they didn’t really mean it.

    “We will not be a spoiler,” said Bill Lipton, the WFP’s political director, indicating that the WFP will take Nixon off its ballot line if she loses the Democratic primary against Governor Andrew Cuomo. Perhaps the WFP will offer Cuomo their ballot line for a third time if he wins the Democratic primary – if he will

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  • Cuomo voting 2017 primary

    Gov. Cuomo voting (photo: Governor's Office)


    New York’s unique fusion voting system is again in the spotlight this year, with renewed attention in the wake of Cynthia Nixon’s insurgent challenge for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination against Governor Andrew Cuomo, with the potential for vote-splitting on the left leading to a Republican victory in November. Cuomo and Nixon have each now been endorsed by a minor party with automatic general election ballot access, even as they vie for the big prize of the Democratic

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  • mxm logo

    Ben Max, left, of Gotham Gazette, and Jarrett Murphy, right, of City Limits


    April 25, 2018 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Political Purity Tests in New York

    m m stanley fritz citizen action 277px

    Stanley Fritz is the New York City campaigns manager for Citizen Action NY, a progressive advocacy organization that has endorsed Cynthia Nixon for governor and is an affiliate of The

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  • Governor Andrew Cuomo

    Gov. Cuomo at NAN (photo: Don Pollard/Governor's Office)


    “Unity” is the trending word in New York politics, ever since Gov. Andrew Cuomo stepped into the back room of a Manhattan steakhouse and put together a deal to end the Independent Democratic Conference, a breakaway group of Democratic senators who collaborated with Republicans to control the state Senate. As a result of that “unity” deal, Democrats in Albany are prepared for the possibility of a truly united front in the upper chamber of the Legislature, with the ability to pass long-gestating

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  • Cuomo Klein IDC Stewart-Cousins

    Stewart-Cousins, Cuomo, and Klein at unity event (photo: Govenor's Office)


    In May 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo attempted to earn the last-minute endorsement of The Working Families Party with a video address at its nominating convention. As Cuomo sought a second term that year, he made a series of promises demanded by WFP members and received the party’s backing and ballot line. The deal with frustrated progressive activists and labor union leaders, who make up the WFP, was in part brokered by Mayor Bill de Blasio after the WFP threatened

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  • cuomo 1199 endorsement

    Gov. Cuomo being endorsed by 1199, Feb. 2018 (photo: @nydems)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo’s campaign website has been updated with a 2018 logo but was touting dozens of endorsements that the governor received in the 2014 election cycle, with no indication that the backing of the groups listed did not apply to the current election, in which the Democrat is seeking a third term.

    The Cuomo campaign took down its endorsement page, which said “endorsements updated daily,” on Thursday after Gotham Gazette inquired about it. Shortly after an email to a campaign

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  • IDC opponents

    Zellnor Myrie, center, and other IDC challengers


    The Working Families Party is escalating its efforts to unseat members of the breakaway Independent Democratic Conference of the New York State Senate. The WFP, a progressive political party that regularly cross-endorses Democrats, is rolling out additional endorsements of candidates challenging IDC members in this year’s elections, which include all the seats in the state Legislature.

    The IDC has a power-sharing agreement with Senate Republicans that helps keep the GOP in control of the upper chamber of

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  • AD65 panel Li mic

    AD65 candidates at a debate (photo: @FilAmDems)


    In a world where U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara hadn’t turned his eye toward public corruption in state government, Sheldon Silver would likely be running for his 21st term in the Assembly and easily extending by another two years his 40-year reign over Manhattan’s 65th Assembly District.

    In the real world, Silver, who had already resigned the powerful Assembly speakership he held for almost 20 years, was automatically stripped of

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  • John Nilson

    Sen. Jeff Klein (photo: John Nilsen/Governor's Office)


    The five-member Independent Democratic Conference was under siege. Mainstream Democrats, liberal activists, and the Working Families Party were out to punish IDC members for having empowered Senate Republicans and for preventing a progressive agenda from advancing in the New York State Senate. In 2014, the groups fielded candidates to challenge Bronx Senator Jeff Klein, head of the IDC, and newly-minted IDC member Tony Avella, senator of Queens, in party primaries. It began as an aggressive attempt to oust two of the five members of the IDC,

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  • cuomo heastie standing photo

    Cuomo and Heastie (photo: The Governor's Office)


    Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie's Twitter account lit up Tuesday with a stream of "fun facts" about income inequality and his proposed millionaire's tax just a day after Gov. Andrew Cuomo dismissed the plan.

  • teachout fracktivists

    Zephyr Teachout, in yellow, with "fractivists" (photo: @zephyrteachout)


    In her zeal to attach herself to Barack Obama at the recent Democratic debate in Charleston, Hillary Clinton at one point issued a somewhat unexpected line of attack. In advance of the 2012 campaign, Clinton charged, Bernie Sanders had "publicly sought someone to run in a primary against President Obama." 

    There's no disputing that Sanders did in fact express such a position, based on his concern that Obama was moving to the right during his first term. But during

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  • de blasio minimum wage announcement crowd

    Mayor de Blasio at his recent minimum wage announcement (photo: Michael Appleton)


    Early this month, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a guaranteed $15 minimum wage for all city government employees by the end of 2018. This is a big win for over 50,000 workers across the city struggling to provide for their families.

    Unlike in Seattle and Los Angeles, where city officials are empowered to raise the minimum wage for the entire workforce in their cities, Mayor de

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  • Cuomo

    Gov. Cuomo at a minimum wage rally (Office of the Governor - Kevin P. Coughlin)


    "Do we have any members of labor in the house today? I can't hear you!" Gov. Andrew Cuomo shouted to a crowd of union members holding signs touting the "Fight for $15." Cuomo held a large rally in Manhattan's Union Square earlier this month as he announced he had instructed his labor commissioner to empanel a wage board to consider upping the minimum wage for fast food workers.

  • tish james at rally

    Public Advocate James at a recent rally (photo: @PA_Outreach)


    During Women's History Month, the New York City YWCA holds weekly discussion and networking events, leading to a celebration honoring a "YW Woman of the Year." This year's theme is Leadership and Generosity: A Call to Action and the honoree, to be recognized at the celebration Tuesday night in Manhttan, is Public Advocate Letitia James. According to a YWCA spokesperson, James is being honored for "her hard work towards gender and racial equity" and

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