blog

We Endorse Cynthia Nixon, Jumaane Williams and Zephyr Teachout

Democrats.com helps elect Democrats – but not just any Democrats. In Democratic primaries, we support committed progressives who fight for core Democratic values like justice, healthcare, education, jobs, the environment, peace, and democracy.

In the Trump era, these fights are both more difficult and more urgent than ever. And that’s why we endorse Cynthia Nixon for Governor, Jumaane Williams for Lt. Governor, and Zephyr Teachout for Attorney General.

Donald Trump is the most corrupt, lawless and dangerous President in American history. Opposing Trump in every way is a moral and historical imperative for every American. And Trump’s home state – New York – should lead this fight.

Cynthia Nixon, Jumaane Williams, and Zephyr Teachout are all committed to fighting Donald Trump and his corrupt, right-wing agenda in every way possible, and they have thus earned our support.

Cynthia Nixon for Governor

Cynthia Nixon was raised by a struggling single mom and graduated from New York public schools. After gaining fame as an actor, she got into the political trenches to fight for this generation of public school students.

In fact, Nixon has fought for nearly every progressive issue. As an LGBT leader, she helped create Fight Back New York to defeat state Senators who opposed same-sex marriage. As a feminist, she helped Planned Parenthood fight for abortion rights. As a subway rider, she fights for MTA reform.

Cynthia Nixon proudly embraces progressive policies like Medicare for All, the DREAM Act and Liberty Act to make NY a sanctuary state, universal rent control, and crucial ethics and election reforms. While Trump’s Supreme Court nominees work to overturn Roe v. Wade, Nixon will protect abortion rights for New Yorkers right now – not delay action until it’s too late like Cuomo. Nixon beat Cuomo in the only debate he dared to attend, and Nixon has earned endorsements from dozens of progressive leaders and politicians.

Despite Andrew Cuomo’s criticisms of Trump, too many of Cuomo’s policies resemble Trump’s – led by tax cuts for the richest New Yorkers that are paid for by limits or cuts to services that are essential to working families.

Under Cuomo, New York has become increasingly unaffordable for healthcare, housing, and higher education. When Assembly Democrats fought for progressive change, they were blocked by the corrupt alliance between Senate Republicans and sellout “IDC” Democrats that Cuomo fully supported – until Nixon made it a powerful campaign issue.

Also like Trump, Cuomo is nasty and vindictive, especially to progressives who dare to oppose him. Cuomo’s relentless attacks on Mayor Bill de Blasio are the most visible example; less visible is Cuomo’s war on the Working Families Party and its allies, including coercing major unions to cut funding for these essential groups.

Cynthia Nixon will lead New York towards progressive change, while Andrew Cuomo will defend his corrupt billionaire funders until his dying day. In the Trump Era, Cynthia Nixon will fight for the transformational change New York needs.

Jumaane Williams for Lt. Governor

Trump is also a despicable racist who embraces white nationalists and relentlessly attacks outstanding black leaders like Barack Obama, Maxine Waters and Lebron James.

Democrats nationwide have repudiated Trump’s racism in the most brilliant way imaginable – by running outstanding new black leaders like Stacey Abrams in Georgia, Ben Jealous in Maryland, and Andrew Gillum in Florida.

But what about New York? Our outstanding new black leader is NYC Councilman Jumaane Williams.

Williams is a brave and dedicated champion of racial justice, civil rights, and economic justice. He has been at the front lines of criminal justice reform, enduring police brutality himself to force New York politicians to end police brutality.

Having battled Tourette’s Syndrome, Williams is a champion of disability rights. After listening to feminists, he is now solidly prochoice. And coming from the Caribbean immigrant community of Brooklyn, he will fight Trump’s cruel deportations from the home of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

Whoever wins the Governor’s race, Williams will always speak truth to power to keep them honest. Beyond that, Williams’ fiery sense of justice and morality will inspire New Yorkers to rediscover our historic role as champions of racial equality in a nation still poisoned by racism.

Zephyr Teachout for Attorney General

Among four solid candidates for NY Attorney General, Zephyr Teachout stands out for her outspoken determination to defend the rule of law against Trump’s lawlessness and prosecute Trump for every crime he has committed in New York.

As the New York Times wrote in their endorsement of Teachout:

With the right leadership, the office could serve as a firewall if President Trump pardons senior aides, dismisses the special counsel, Robert Mueller, or attacks the foundations of state power. Only a handful of American institutions are equipped to resist such assaults on constitutional authority, and the New York attorney general’s office, with 650 lawyers and a history of muscular law enforcement, is one of them.

Teachout is fiercely independent, and will prosecute corrupt Albany politicians regardless of party. After Cuomo ended his investigation of Albany corruption when it got too close to his office, Teachout vowed to carry it forward. In the wake of convictions of Andrew Cuomo’s aides and allies, as well as top Republican and Democratic leaders, Teachout’s independence couldn’t be more crucial.

Teachout is also a lifelong champion for nearly every progressive issue, and will proudly continue the fights led by past Attorneys General including reproductive rights, voting rights, civil rights, corporate ethics, and environmental and consumer protection.

Make a Plan to Vote on Thursday, September 13!

This year New York’s state primary was moved from Tuesday to Thursday, September 13 because of Rosh Hashanah. Turnout for a Thursday election will be extremely low, so a strong turnout by progressives can shock the pundits and elect Nixon, Williams, and Teachout.

So we urge you to make an extra effort to vote on Thursday, September 13 – and convince your family and friends to join you. This will be an historic election, and your vote can make all the difference in the world.

An Editorial Message from Democrats.com
Not paid for by any candidate or committee

right to work Missouri

A Win for Labor in Missouri

Labor unions have had a discouraging series of setbacks in recent years. Membership has been declining, in part because fewer people work in manufacturing—traditionally a union stronghold—and partly because “right-to-work” laws are in place in 28 states now. These laws prohibit unions from collecting dues from workers who choose not to be members, depriving the unions of important funds that support their efforts and weakening their position with employers. Despite the sunny name, such laws have resulted in lower wages in the states that have adopted them, according to the AFL-CIO, which serves as an umbrella group for most U.S. unions.

But the failure of a ballot measure in Missouri this week shows that voters aren’t as enamored of “right-to-work” as Republicans seem to think. The prospective law would have prohibited private-sector unions from collecting mandatory fees from workers who choose not to become union members. It was rejected by voters by a margin of two-to-one.

The good news for labor was much needed in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision earlier this summer that public-sector unions, which represent more than 34 percent of those who work for local, state, and federal agencies (compared with only 6.5 percent of private-sector employees), are not allowed to collect mandatory fees from people who choose not to become members, but who do benefit from collective bargaining. The decision upends more than 40 years of precedent—although non-members were not required to pay for unions’ political efforts, they did contribute toward the costs of the collective bargaining process, because their interests were being represented in efforts to negotiate wages, benefits, and other employment conditions.

States including Wisconsin and Ohio have limited labor’s ability to negotiate for state workers recently, and the June Supreme Court decision is likely to eat into their membership numbers even more.

But despite the statutory problems, labor has actually been making some important progress on the ground. Tens of thousands of teachers walked off the job in conservative states this year to demand better wages and working conditions, graduate students and teaching assistants have joined the United Auto Workers union, Las Vegas workers went on strike at casinos, and 250,000 Teamsters authorized a UPS strike (but received concessions before it took place).

Missouri’s voters showed that when people understand the reality of the anti-union push for “right-to-work” laws, they show up at the ballot box to protect their workers.

“It shows how out of touch those institutions are,” Richard Trumka, president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O, told The New York Times. “How out of touch the Republican legislature in Missouri is, how out of touch the Supreme Court is.”

 

Republicans Think They Are Smearing Dems By Calling Ocasio-Cortez Their New “Standard Bearer”

Newsflash: We Want That.

A new Republican talking point has hit the mainstream media. Republican talking heads are referring to Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez, a self-described Democratic Socialist and Democratic Party nominee for New York’s Fourth Congressional District, as the “standard bearer” for the Democratic Party. They started taunting more mainstream Democrats with that point, as could be seen on CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time when Trump campaign strategist David Urban lobbed the “insult” at Van Jones.

Now, this reporter is not sure how Republicans can be unconcerned about Russian influence in our elections while at the same time appeal to red scare talking points to frighten folks away from the Democratic Party. Let’s chalk it up to a safe bet that their base will not notice the contradiction.

Unfortunately, Van Jones rolls his eyes at the talking point, instead of embracing the fact that there is a growing contingent of voters who want what Ocasio-Cortez is championing; namely single payer healthcare, environmental justice, restorative justice, economic justice, humane immigration policy and more. She spoke about these issues in an open dialogue with activist Ady Barkan in the Bronx this week.

act.tv was there live to cover it. Watch here:

Take note: Candidates Ocasio-Cortez supported in recent primaries took double digit percentages of the vote against more centrist Democrats, and in two cases, James Thompson of Kansas and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, won their primaries. The percentage of progressive voters unafraid to stand for (once unspeakably) just and egalitarian policies is growing and the Democratic Party best take note.

Stacey Abrams

Year of the Democratic Women

According to the Women Rule Candidate Tracker, almost 600 women said they were running for seats in the U.S. House or Senate, or for governorships during the current cycle. Of those, 178 have advanced in primaries, 197 are still waiting for primary races, and 217 have lost primaries or dropped out.

But the vast majority of those women running, winning primaries, and gearing up for November are Democrats. “Things have changed, but for Republican women, sadly the number has more or less stayed at a dismally low level,” Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the Republican representative for Florida’s 27th district, told POLITICO’s Rachael Bade in July. Ros-Lehtinen, who isn’t running for re-election this year, blames Trump for some of the problems Republican women are facing: “He’s going to be hanging on you like an albatross around your neck. Ugh! It is a real knot for female candidates.”

According to the candidate-tracking project (a collaboration between POLITICO, the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers, and the Women in Public Service Project at The Wilson Center), only 35 Republican women have won House primary races as of July 25, compared with 122 Democratic women. Almost all the high-profile candidates who have attracted national attention—including Stacey Abrams in the Georgia governor’s race, Lupe Valdez in the Texas governor’s race, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the U.S. House race for New York’s 14th district—are Democrats. In part, it’s because Democratic women are obviously fired up by Donald Trump’s presidency.

The political action committee Run for Something, which was founded on Inauguration Day in 2017 to help young progressives run for local offices, is supporting a few hundred first- or second-time candidates, and about half are women. Emily’s List, which has been working since 1985 to elect pro-choice women, says some 40,000 women have reached out to the organization since Trump’s election to learn more about running for office. That compares with only 920 women who contacted the group during the full 2016 election cycle.

Republican women have clearly not been as outraged by their party’s assaults on reproductive rights, health care, and social programs, and haven’t felt compelled to jump into the fray. But even if more of them were trying to take matters into their own hands, they would be at a disadvantage: A June poll by POLITICO/Morning Consult found that when Republicans were asked whether they’d prefer to vote for a male or female candidate (all else being equal), 15 percent chose men and only 2 percent chose women. Among Democrats polled, those numbers were essentially reversed, with 15 percent saying they’d rather vote for a woman and 4 percent choosing a man. (Notably, about 80 percent of both groups said the candidate’s gender wouldn’t make any difference to them.)

What’s more, there just aren’t as many women in the Republican party as there are among the pool of Democrats. Pew Research Center survey results in the spring showed that 56 percent of women identify as Democrats or lean Democratic (up four percentage points since 2015), compared with 37 percent who identify or lean toward the Republican party. A key stepping-stone to running for national office is experience on a state legislature, but according to fivethirtyeight.com, only 17 percent of Republican state legislators are women, compared with 36 percent of Democratic state legislators.

While Democrats should rightly be proud and pleased about the progress we’re making toward more equal representation of women among our political leaders, we can’t be happy about the lack of women on the other side—as the Republican party skews further right, one can’t help but wonder whether more women wouldn’t temper the party’s destructive instincts on issues like breaking up immigrant families and making health care less accessible. Retiring Representative Ros-Lehtinen told NBC that the House is still a “good ol’ boys’ club.”