The Working Families Party is based in New York. They also have a chapter here in Connecticut.
Dannel “Dan” Malloy only won by 6,000 votes in the last election. The Working Family Party gave him the victory since the WFP line added more than 26,000 votes to his total.
Although their endorsement process for the 2014 election for governor here in Connecticut has barely begun, some claim that Work Families Party leadership has already committed their endorsement to Malloy despite the fact that he has consistently failed on a number of Working Family Party priorities.
In New York, the Working Family Party’s strategy and process has appeared far more open and up for grabs.
A recent public opinion poll showed Andrew Cuomo skating to victory unless the Working Families Party put up a candidate who offered voters a better choice, in which case much of Cuomo’s lead was projected to disappear.
The WFP issue has received significant media coverage in New York.
Two days ago, the nation’s leading education advocate, Diane Ravitch announced that she will not be a candidate for governor on behalf of the Working Families Party, due in part to her recent health issues.
Diane Ravitch, who has generously posted blogs about my possible candidacy for governor here in Connecticut, did add;
“I hope that WFP mounts a vigorous campaign, especially on the issue of education, pointing out that the Cuomo administration has tolerated highly inequitable funding, limited the ability of districts to tax themselves to meet their needs, and shown preference for charter schools–which enroll 3% of the state’s children–over public schools. Our children are our future.”
Yesterday, word spread that the potential nominee for the Working Families Party might be a Fordham Law School professor and expert on government ethics named Zephyr Teachout.
Sounding what will be a familiar message for Connecticut voters, Zephyr Teachout released the following statement about her effort to win the Working Families Party nomination in New York.
“I’m seeking the WFP nomination because New Yorkers deserve an economy and democracy that works for all of us, not just the wealthy and well-connected. The system is rigged for the rich and powerful, and as part of that broken system, Andrew Cuomo isn’t going to fix it. People’s voices aren’t being heard, Cuomo not only failed to do anything real to prevent wealthy and corporate donors from buying our politicians, but proposed severe cuts in education funding while giving massive tax breaks to bankers and billionaires. I am strong supporter of public education, a democracy responsive to our voices, and an economy grounded in good jobs and many small businesses, not a few powerful corporations.”
But New York Governor Mario Cuomo is striking back. As Diane Ravitch explained on her blog later in the day yesterday,
Governor Cuomo is trying to persuade other statewide candidates to refuse the Working Families Party endorsement if they choose an independent to run against him. His goal is to punish the party if it does not endorse him.
There is a battle going on for the future of the Democratic Party. Will it be a progressive party, or will it vie with Republicans to hold the line on taxes and budgets? Will it fight for public education or for privatization?
And now comes late word from a New York City blogger who reports that NYSUT and UFT President Mulgrew has pushed, twisted arms and may have practically secured the WFP nomination for governor for Governor Cuomo. The blogger writes,
Never mind that the entire Governor Andy [Cuomo] agenda has been to bend over for the moneyed interests of the state. Never mind that upstate New York is still an economic wasteland. Never mind that the “Children’s Lobbyist” cares only about 3% of the students of New York State (those who attend charter schools)…Never mind that if the WFP does nominate Governor Andy they are contradicting all they believe in and will probably have to change their name.
Worse is the behind the scenes machination of Mulgrew, and at his behest and control NYSUT, and the manipulation and dirty dealing on behalf of Governor Andy!
Where is the consultation with the rank and file? Where is the transparency behind this decision to get Governor Andy [Cuomo] the nomination?
We all know what Mulgrew’s response will be.
“At least we will have a seat at the table.”
Big whoop! A seat at the table mean nothing if every time one goes to sit down it is pulled out from under.
If this latest rumor is true, it is certainly an interesting statement about the labor leaders who represent teachers because the UFT (United Federation of Teachers) is the New York City chapter of the AFT (American Federation of Teachers).
In Connecticut, the same union is called the AFT-Connecticut.
Considering Andrew Cuomo is either the worst Democratic governor in the nation when it comes to public education issues (or the second worst if we put Dannel Malloy in the top spot), it is sad and ironic if the New York City union that represents teachers is helping deliver the Working Families Party endorsement to an enemy of teachers and public education.
It would be like the leaders of the AFT-CT trying to help deliver the Working Families Party endorsement to Dannel Malloy…Or as we like to say, Wait, What?
We’ll just have to see what happens here in Connecticut as the Working Family Party’s endorsement process continues.
At that point we’ll know whether the Working Families Party is willing to stand up for working families.
Paid for by Pelto 2014, Ted Strelez, Treasurer, Christine Ladd, Deputy Treasurer, Approved by Jonathan Pelto