The Working Families Party held its statewide convention on Saturday in Harlem. After recently implying that Governor Cuomo is racist and sexist, the WFP made another surreal announcement, saying that they will back both Letitia "Tish" James and Zepyhr Teachout for New York Attorney General.
"There are two progressive women in this race and New Yorkers would be lucky to have either as our next attorney general,” said Party Boss Bill Lipton. The WFP will put up a placeholder candidate so the party can remain on the ballot for now, and reserve the right to put either Teachout or James on the final November ballot.
Unwilling to take a stand based on principle and the issues, the WFP has decided to play more political games, and are likely to support whichever AG candidate benefits their continued survival, not the one who will most benefit working families.
The peculiar WFP Convention got a vicious response from the New York State Democrats, who put out this statement on Saturday:
"The state of the WFP today stands in stark contrast with the state of the Democratic Party. The union-founded party has no working families left after every union has left their ranks. Now Party Boss Bill Lipton is trying to muscle their delegates not to back one of their most loyal supporters: Zephyr Teachout. Meanwhile, Cynthia Nixon may not endorse her own former Campaign Treasurer Zephyr Teachout, or her own WFP Lieutenant Governor candidate Jumaane Williams, who has an anti-choice and anti-marriage equality record. That’s some WFP ticket: they don’t even support each other….. This sideshow distracts from our number one priority: electing more Democrats and combating Donald Trump’s extreme and hateful agenda. That will be the focus of the state Democratic convention next week, when the serious campaign begins.”
Attendance at the WFP convention appeared paltry. I can’t help but wonder if the WFP will continue to disintegrate. Its institutional support has evaporated, and its political deal-making is unlikely to resonate with the average voter. Time will tell.