Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

 

Working Families Party

Working Families Party

  • 1 how unfold

    Emily Gallagher with campaign supporters (photo: @em4assembly)


    Community activist Emily Gallagher ran a successful insurgent Democratic primary campaign like few others: one with no endorsements from elected officials, no support from ascendent lefitist groups the Working Families Party or New York City branch of the Democratic Socialists of America, and relatively little money compared to her opponent, a 47-year incumbent State Assembly member who had not even faced a primary challenge for a decade.

    Gallagher, who has lived in North Brooklyn’s Assembly

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  • phara souffrant forrest

    Phara Souffrant Forrest (photo: @phara4assembly)


    Leftist organizations like the Working Families Party and New York City branch of the Democratic Socialists of America are piling up wins in the June primaries, with absentee ballot counting near an end and a wide array of candidates they supported — many of whom are challengers to incumbents — on the verge of winning seats in Congress and the New York State Legislature.

    The wins shatter preconceived notions that incumbents are heavily favored to win, conventional wisdom that was deeply

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  • 5 progressive assembly

    The State Assembly (photo: @NYSA_Majority)


    For some time, a lack of Democratic control in the New York State Senate prevented progressive legislation from becoming law. But even after the chamber flipped from red to blue through the 2018 elections and a long list of Democratic priorities were acted on, some bills that once passed the State Assembly when Republicans held the Senate are now having trouble reaching that chamber’s floor, leading to frustration that multiple insurgent campaigns capitalized on in this year’s primary

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  • 6 jabari brisport eyes

    Jabari Brisport marching (photo: @JabariBrisport)


    This year’s Democratic primary for Brooklyn’s 25th State Senate District mostly flew under the radar, but was one of the most interesting races in the city, with an energetic activist and teacher, Jabari Brisport, backed by the Working Families and Democratic Socialist of America-New York City, taking on Assemblymember Tremaine Wright, whose district overlaps with part of the Senate district and who had the backing of the retiring senator, Velmanette Montgomery, among many others in the political

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  • Cuomo political rally winking

    Gov. Cuomo appears interested in seeing the demise of New York's smaller political parties (photo: New York Democratic Party)


    Included in the bills to approve a state budget for the new fiscal year beginning April 1 was the creation of a new campaign finance system with a public-matching program, lower individual contribution limits, and various other changes to campaign finance law. But the controversial inclusion of changes to ballot thresholds could prove to be a poison pill, not for the law but for the several minor political parties

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  • Cuomo Heastie Stewart-Cousins

    State government leaders Stewart-Cousins, Cuomo, Heastie (photo: The Governor's Office)


    A new state campaign finance system, with public matching money for candidates who choose to participate and lower individual contribution limits, will be enshrined in law through inclusion in the new state budget. It is accompanied by new and highly-controversial ballot-threshold requirements for political parties.

    Using a modified system due to the coronavirus outbreak, the state Legislature voted through various budget bills on Tuesday and

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  • sochie bail reform

    Sochie Nnaemeka, the author (photo: @sochiesays)


    In moments of crisis, we see what our leaders value. Over the past week, coronavirus has spread to Rikers Island. Our state should be focused on keeping detained New Yorkers and correctional workers safe and healthy. Instead, elected officials may roll back bail reforms in response to fear-mongering by opponents of the new law. If our leaders in Albany choose to reduce the number of people eligible to await their trial from home, the jail population could grow during a dangerous pandemic. We must put human safety over

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  • new york state capitol

    Big decisions to be made in the state capitol (photo: Mike Groll/Governor's Office)


    A State Supreme Court judge in Niagara County struck down the state’s new campaign finance law which was based on the recommendations of a controversial state-created commission that took effect in December. The state Legislature could not give the commission the authority to make binding changes to state law, the judge

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  • outline justice agenda

    (photo: governor's office)


    New York State is set to adopt a new electoral campaign finance system, with voluntary participation, lower individual contribution limits, and a new public matching system to amplify small donations. It is based on the recommendations of a state commission, which also raised the threshold for political party ballot access, that will become law unless the state Legislature acts to amend them by Sunday, December 22, which legislative leaders have given no indication they will attempt.

    But while many reform-minded elected

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  • cuomo utica

    (photo: governor's office)


    December 4, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: State Campaign Finance Reform Takes Shape, with Threat to Minor Parties

    jacobs wis wbaiJay Jacobs, chair of the New York Democratic Party and a Governor Cuomo-appointed member of the state campaign finance commission that just finished its work, and Jessica Wisneski of Citizen Action NY and the Working Families Party joined the

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  • state legislators hearing

    (photo: @FairElectionsNY)


    A state commission charged with creating a system of public financing for state elections has prompted harsh rebukes from several state legislators for proposing what they say is watered down campaign finance reform and for ostensibly advancing a political agenda that targets longtime critics of Governor Andrew Cuomo.

    The New York State Public Campaign Financing Commission was appointed by Cuomo and state legislative leaders after a failure of consensus on overhauling the state’s campaign finance system. It was tasked in

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  • fusion voting 600

    (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office)


    September 25, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: The Future of Fusion Voting in New York

    stan fritz wbaiA commission established by Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature is designing a system of public campaign financing for New York, and also considering whether to try to end the practice of fusion voting. Its binding recommendations are due

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  • Cuomo Stewart-Cousins Klein

    (photo: The Governor's Office)


    As 2018 comes to a close, we’re looking back at some of our “best” and most-read articles of the year. In a separate post, we’ll highlight some of the “best” pieces we reported that aren’t among our top ten most-read articles, which are listed below. This list does not include articles like election guides or candidate lists or even our summaries of voter turnout numbers, all of which are often among our most-read posts, as was our article that reported on the mayor's charter revision commission

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  • 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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