Tomorrow, Tuesday September 9th, is Primary Election Day in New York State. This election has the potential to change the direction of New York State, and dramatically change the Democratic Party nationwide. Perhaps the most progressive state in the union, New York has been saddled with a right-of-center Governor, a GOP-controlled Senate and an Assembly riddled with corruption. Big money and back-room deals dominate our state government and block progress for New Yorkers. Tomorrow, we can change that.
PLEASE VOTE. Polls are open from 6 AM – 9PM. In NYC, you can find your district and poll site at http://nyc.pollsitelocator.com (many have changed, so take a look). In the rest of NY state, go to https://voterlookup.elections.state.ny.us.
Below are my endorsements in a few key races.
Zephyr Teachout for Governor – Incumbent Andrew Cuomo’s has used his office to serve the wealthiest and hurt working and middle class New Yorkers, earning him the nickname “Governor 1%”. He’s also done everything he can to keep a Republican controlled State Senate, and blocked anti-corruption efforts. New York deserves much better.
Fortunately, we have in Zephyr Teachout a great alternative. The New York Times recently called her “a national expert on political corruption and an advocate of precisely the kind of transparency and political reform that Albany needs.” Teachout believes in “a New York where wages are rising, small businesses are thriving and our public schools are the best in the nation.” She has pledged to ban fracking, invest in public schools and get big money out of politics.
In a broader view, a Teachout victory over Cuomo’s millions from the Koch Brothers, big real estate and the oil and gas industry, would shake up our party nationwide. It is vital that progressives show the Democratic Party that we will stand up to the big-money Democrats who sell out working Americans. Please join us in this effort by voting for Zephyr Teachout tomorrow.
View my full endorsement of Zephyr Teachout at http://newellnyc.org/teachout-wu/.
Tim Wu for Lieutenant Governor – Timothy Wu, Ms. Teachout’s running mate, has led a national fight for net neutrality and equality of access to information for over a decade. Born in Taiwan, Wu would be a champion for NY’s immigrant communities and is our first statewide Asian-American candidate. In contrast, Cuomo’s choice, Kathy Hochul, is perhaps the only Democrat in NY more conservative than himself. Hochul has voted to repeal Obamacare, led a prominent anti-immigrant effort in NYS, has been endorsed by the Conservative Party every time she’s run for office, and has a 100% lifetime rating from the NRA. Hochul is the wrong choice for New York State Democrats. Tim Wu is the right one.
See the New York Times endorsement of Tim Wu at – http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/28/opinion/timothy-wu-for-lieutenant-governor.html.
For a Better New York State Senate
The New York State Senate is a disaster. Despite a Democratic majority, Cuomo and the “IDC” -five opportunist “Democratic” State Senators – have conspired with the Republicans to return the minority GOP to control. This, along with rampant corruption in both parties, has thwarted progress on issues from affordable housing, women’s health, campaign finance reform, ethics reform, transportation, environmental issues like fracking and more. Tomorrow, we have a chance to change that. Below are my endorsements in some key races. You’ll notice that most of these are of the “throw the bums out” school. Few places have a higher concentration of bums in need of throwing than the NY State Senate.
- John C. Liu for State Senate District 11 (Northeast Queens) – Liu has been a pioneering, progressive leader in New York. The first Asian-American councilmember, he went on to be a superb NYC Comptroller. His opponent, incumbent Tony Avella, lost any claim to progressive or Democratic support when he joined the GOP allied “IDC”. John Liu will restore Democratic representation to NE Queens, and to the State Senate. Vote for Liu.
- Oliver Koppell for State Senate District 34 (Parts of the Bronx and Westchester). – Koppell is one of the most experienced progressive Democrats in NY State. His opponent, Jeff Klein, is the leader of the breakaway IDC/GOP alliance. He has been particularly spiteful and nasty in defending this power-grab – and has blocked vital reforms for NY tenants and workers. This one Senate race could have huge statewide impact. If you live in this district, please vote for Oliver Koppell.
- Dell Smitherman for State Senate District 19 (Canarsie, East New York, Most of Southeast Brooklyn) – Smitherman is a longtime labor and community activist who knows his district well. The incumbent, John Sampson, has embodied the culture of corruption that dominates the Senate. Sampson has been indicted on embezzlement and fraud charges, and allegedly tried to intervene in the investigation. He is unfit for elected office. Vote Smitherman.
- Leroy Comrie, Jr for State Senate District 14 (Jamaica, St. Albans, Hollis in Southeast Queens), Comrie has served Southeast Queens for years in the City Council and the Borough President’s office. Incumbent Malcolm Smith has a long history of corruption and selling out his constituents to the highest bidder. Ostensibly a Democrat, he was briefly a member of the GOP/IDC caucus, until he was arrested for trying to bribe his way on to last year’s mayoral ballot as a Republican (only in New York). Queens deserves much better. Vote Comrie.
- Gustavo Rivera for State Senate District 33 (Northwest Bronx). – A Good Incumbent! They do exist, and Rivera is one of the best. He’s been a leader on ethics reform, expanding access to healthcare, and campaign finance reform. Naturally, this has earned him a challenge from the GOP/IDC alliance. His challenger opposes a woman’s right to choose and supports viciously homophobic policies here in NY and around the world. This one’s a no-brainer. Vote for Rivera.
- Debbie Medina for State Senate District 18 (Bushwick, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Bed-Stuy) – Medina is a tenant organizer and political reformer committed to open government and progressive values. Incumbent Martin Dilan is a vestige of Brooklyn’s broken, corrupt political machine. Vote for Medina and a breath of fresh air in northwest Brooklyn.
Finally, I’m encouraging Brooklyn Democrats to vote for Nick Rizzo for State Committee in AD 50 (Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Ft. Greene). The Brooklyn Democratic Party has come a long way in a few short years from the bad-old-days of Vito Lopez and company. But there’s still a long way to go. Nick Rizzo, the candidate of the New Kings Democrats, is the right kind of fresh, reform voice to do the job.
So there you have my picks for this important election. Whomever you support, please be sure to vote. Our state needs your voice.
P.S. Please join Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu at 6:30-9 PM tonight for a Pre-Election Rally in Union Square. Hope to see you there.