Democrats Unveil Women’s Equality Party
Democratic women on Thursday unveiled a new ballot line designed to raise issues regarding health and workplace rights this election year.
The move was blasted by Republicans, including GOP candidate for governor Rob Astorino, as well as Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Democratic primary opponent Zephyr Teachout as a cynical ploy to court female voters this November.
But the move was embraced by a variety of female political leaders, activists and celebrities including members of Congress like Nita Lowey and Grace Meng, along with actress Lena Dunham, model Christie Brinkley and the governor’s girlfriend, Food Network star Sandra Lee.
The formation of the ballot line signals a renewed focus by Cuomo’s re-election campaign on the 10-point women’s agenda, which includes a provision designed to codify the Roe v. Wade decision in state law.
Senate Republicans have balked at holding a vote on the measure, but have approved other pieces of the agenda ranging from pay equity to human trafficking protections.
“After decades of tremendous progress, the march towards women’s equality has stalled. Even in New York, the birthplace of the Women’s Right’s Movement, we’ve felt the impact of the assault of women’s equality when just this year, the New York State Senate refused to act on the Women’s Equality Agenda,” said Cuomo’s running mate, former Rep. Kathy Hochul. “The new Women’s Equality Party will bring together the strength and power of our state’s women leaders to promote the Women’s Equality Agenda and influence policy and government, inspired by the spirit of Seneca Falls.”
A news conference today in New York City unveiling the ballot line effort was also the first major appearance by Hochul, selected by Cuomo in May to replace outgoing Lt. Gov. Bob Duffy on the Democratic ticket.
Candidates in New York can run on multiple ballot lines.
If the effort to create the party is successful, Cuomo and Hochul could potentially have four ballot lines this fall along with the Democratic, Independence, Working Families lines.
Astorino, the Republican candidate, has the Conservative Party ballot line as well, and signaled this month to form a party based on opposition to the Common Core education standards.
Astorino, who opposes abortion, said the creation of the ballot line is a sign Cuomo is “jumping the shark,” noting that the governor did not take an aggressive stance publicly against Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s handling of multiple sexual harassment scandals in New York.
“Every time the words ‘Women’s Equality Party’ are spoken, New Yorkers should think ‘Andrew Cuomo and Sheldon Silver.’ Because that’s what this party line is really about,” Astorino said.
It’s a sentiment echoed by Republican Chairman Ed Cox.
“Any conversation about women’s issues in New York begins with Sheldon Silver, the Democratic Speaker of the Assembly who used taxpayer money to silence young female victims of sexual assault,” he said.
The campaign of Teachout and her running mate Tim Wu circulated a Tweet from Daily News columnist Bill Hammond that included a link to a satirical article in The Onion headlined: “Man Finally Put In Charge Of Struggling Feminist Movement.”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on July 17, 2014 at 1:07 pm, and is filed under 2014. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|
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