WFP Convention Keynote To Focus On Income Inequality
From the morning memo, ICYMI:
As members of the Working Families Party plan to gather outside of Albany on Saturday for their nominating convention, they’ll be treated to a keynote speech that will focus on income inequality.
The WFP has tapped Dorian Warren, an assistant professor of political science at Columbia University who specializes on the issue of income inequality, to deliver its speech at the convention.
The subtext, of course, is that the union-backed WFP has not ruled out giving its ballot line to a candidate other than Democratic incumbent Andrew Cuomo.
Liberal advocates remain restless over Cuomo’s support for tax policies they believe leans too heavily toward the wealthy and corporate interests and are taken aback by his vocal support for charter schools.
The 2014-15 state budget adopted in large measure a package of tax cuts aimed at property owners and businesses as Cuomo gears up for a re-election campaign.
Nevertheless, Cuomo allies have been working in recent weeks to shore up support for the governor.
The Daily News reported this morning that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat whose views on the economy more closely line up with the labor-advocacy community, urged the WFP leadership to support Cuomo’s re-election.
At the same time, a video shown at the Democratic convention last week featured prominent labor leaders from influential unions like 1199 SEIU and 32BJ endorsing Cuomo.
Still, rank-and-file advocates remain unconvinced, especially over whether Cuomo will make a good-faith effort to create a system of public financed political campaigns, which is part of a tricky set of negotiations with the state Senate, divided between a coalition of Democrats and Republicans.
Even if Cuomo will ultimately get the Working Families nod, party officials expect a vigorous floor debate Saturday evening when they meet at the Desmond Hotel in Colonie.
To that end, the WFP’s draft platform is a packaged agenda that includes some issues where the governor and the party see eye-to-eye.
Those issues include the women’s agenda, a 10-point package of bills with a measure aimed at strengthening abortion rights through the codification of Roe v. Wade — a proposal first made by Cuomo in 2013.
The WFP draft platform opposes the merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, the latter of which is the parent company of Time Warner Cable News, on the grounds it would worsen customer service.
Cuomo has seized on a recently approved state law that gives the Public Service Commission more regulatory oversight of the merger and is pushing the companies to develop plans that would expand rural Internet service.
And the WFP endorses the Dream Act, which provides tuition assistance for undocumented workers and has been embraced by Cuomo.
Then there are more fuzzy areas for Cuomo and the WFP.
The party backs a ban on the controversial natural-gas drilling process known as hydrofracking, a source of rare indecision for Cuomo.
The WFP wants to allow local communities to raise the minimum wage, which Cuomo has opposed.
Perhaps the most discordant note for both Cuomo and the WFP is on the issue of taxes.
Cuomo last week touted his Democratic Party’s brand has one that supports socially liberal policies such as same-sex marriage, but has also been inoculated against Republican charges of being bad for businesses by supporting tax increases.
That stance has caused, in part, the convulsions with the WFP.
“We can raise hundreds of billions of dollars by closing corporate tax loopholes and assuring that the rich pay their fair share, so that big corporations and the wealthy take responsibility for contributing to building strong communities,” the party’s draft platform says.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on May 28, 2014 at 9:53 am, and is filed under Working Families Party. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|
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