Oct 31, 2014

The Mayor Supports The WFP, Just Not Enough To Vote The WFP Line

Bill deBlasio has declared that he is planning to vote for Andrew Cuomo on the Democratic ballot line rather than the Working Families Party line which he was instrumental delivering to the governor despite his first term being an obstructionist opposed to the WFP agenda. The mayor, having the veneer of being the progressive darling, has been the face of WFP for their 2 mailings (that I have received so far) to encourage voters to cast their vote for Andrew Cuomo but on the WFP's line. If the mayor refuses to vote on the WFP, then why should anyone else? Why should the deal that Cuomo agreed to to get the WFP ballot sway any left-of-Cuomo voter if everyone involved in the deal has abandoned the WFP?


Campaign finance, the only systemic reform that was a tenet of the agreement, will certainly be the thoroughly tossed onto the trash with or without a massive electoral turnout for the WFP. The NY DREAM Act, minimum wage increase (though probably not pinned to inflation), and declarative right to an abortion will be pointed to as the WFP deal being consummated to the satisfaction of Cuomo, deBlasio, and the coalition partners that make up the WFP. What Bill Lipton and Dan Cantor (state and national directors of the WFP respectively) can claim as a victory, but no one who has put a significant amount of thought into it, that anything else other than whacking at the leaves and surrendering to plutocracy rather than earnestly challenging the status quo; to accept that 'it's just the way things are' that one individual with a million dollars is of greater value than the lives of a million sorry souls.


Imagine if the WFP deal was just campaign finance, and without the far more achievable but laudable goals that I expressed would be passed in Cuomo's next term. That as a condition of the WFP deal an explicit amount of money was declared to induce voters to vote the WFP, and that campaign finance reform be the central issue to his campaign. Cuomo would have likely balked at such a deal, since there was no viable escape clause but that it being so ironclad should have been the purpose. The two possible outcomes would been that the WFP would have been left with Zephyr Teachout as the nominee though the unions that pay the bills would have bolted from the party but the Democratic Primary would have still occurred only with Teachout continuing on in the general election challenging the incumbent governor to answer criticisms from the left; alternatively had the WFP been able to narrow the deal to just campaign finance reform then Cuomo could have only one metric to be judged on whether he kept his side of the bargain passage and funding Fair Elections, no half measures or partial victories to be claimed as face saving feats. Democratic takeover of the State Senate in either scenario would have been inevitable, either by the influx of voters in the general election given a real choice between status quo candidates and a truly viable insurgent in Teachout or Cuomo deliver on this new hypothetical deal and transfer of the set amount of campaign cash to WFP to target not only the open seats in the state senate but towards the challengers of incumbent Senators who voted for Majority Leader Skelos (including the IDC senators). Even if the senate isn't taken over by the Democrats (who already hold a majority of seats, and only due to the IDC are in minority) in 2014 the Democrats would win the senate and eventually make the IDC irrelevant in 2016 or 2020 presidential election.