MSNBC actually gives a Green candidate, Howie Hawkins, some coverage
Cuomo must really be shitting the bed. MSNBC:
The 2014 New York governor’s race is not Howie Hawkins’ first dance. Hawkins, the Green Party’s gubernatorial nominee and a long-time UPS truck unloader, is a perennial candidate for public office, having logged six unsuccessful races in just eight years. This time, though, is different.
I'm liking the guy already.
Politics to the left of the Democratic Party is having a miniature resurgence across the country. Recent polling shows that young people between the ages of 18 and 29 have a slightly more positive view of “socialism” than “capitalism.” For the first time in at least a century, a socialist is holding citywide office in Seattle, Wash. One of the summer’s hottest bestsellers is a treatise on wealth inequality written by a leftist French economist. And in New York – where Bill de Blasio recently seized control of the largest city in the country by running on an anti-inequality platform – Hawkins is betting that widespread dissatisfaction with Gov. Cuomo will give his ticket a fighting chance.
Maybe. I think it depends on how you define "the left." And in politics, you had better define yourself, or your enemy will do that for you. Perhaps those six races have helped Hawkins more than we might think.
New Yorkers are hungry for an alternative to Cuomo, says Hawkins, who points to an April 2014 poll in which a generic nominee from the left-leaning Working Families Party (WFP) commanded 24% to Cuomo’s 39%.
“I think we’re the ticket that 24% is looking for,” Hawkins told msnbc. “They just haven’t found us yet. When they find us, we’ve got a real race.”
Of course, Hawkins isn’t the WFP nominee; Cuomo is. The Democratic governor received WFP’s official blessing at the party’s convention on May 31, although it didn’t come without a fight. Fordham University law professor Zephyr Teachout challenged Cuomo for the nomination, positioning herself as the true left-wing candidate in the race. But WFP ultimately sided with Cuomo after Mayor de Blasio helped broker a deal between them. Teachout has since announced her intention to run against Cuomo in the Democratic primary.
The moment Cuomo sealed the WFP nomination; Hawkins’ campaign had a statement ready. Hawkins, already trying to court the left-wing anti-Cuomo vote away from the Working Families Party, described it as “a tool of the Democrats and their corporate sponsors to confuse voters into supporting the agenda of the 1%.”
“We feel their pain over the Cuomo nomination,” he said of left-wing WFP members. “We are here for them. We give them a place to organize and vote against the Cuomo agenda and for progressive policies.”
He's absolutely right. Teachout is, basically, a Dean Democrat. Not that there's anything wrong with that, and I'm for anything that splits the Democrats, but WFP -- as a party, and as distinct from its rank and file -- is exactly what Hawkins says it is: "a tool of the Democrats and their corporate sponsors to confuse voters into supporting the agenda of the 1%." That's why the WFP ran interference for the Democrats, against Howie Hawkins, in Syracuse's Fourth District. The sooner WFP dries up and blows away, the better. Hopefully, endorsing Cuomo for Governor this year will do the trick.