Conservative Party Opposes Astorino’s Reform Party
The executive committee of the state’s Conservative Party on Monday night voted to oppose the formation of the “Reform Party” by Rob Astorino, the Westchester County executive and 2014 candidate for governor.
The ballot line was initially created as the Anti-Common Core Party — formed in order to gain votes based on the opposition to the controversial education standards.
After Astorino received more than 50,000 votes on the line, the party gained permanency to last through the current election cycle.
Astorino, who is considering another run for governor in 2018, filed paperwork to rename the ballot line the “Reform Party.”
But Conservative Party leaders, who huddled at their annual meeting in Albany over the last two days, are concerned with both the name of the line and the party’s place on the ballot.
“The concern is that it gets out of hand,” Chairman Mike Long said. “We’re a minor party and we have no problem with minor political parties. But now the field is getting a little ridiculous. The Independence Party — the Reform Party.”
Long denied leaders were upset with the possibility that a Reform Party could lure votes away from the Conservative Party’s line, currently placed at Row C.
Rather, the larger concern is what the Reform Party’s platform will be, he said.
“I guess it could siphon off votes,” Long said. “I don’t think that’s the major concern. The major concern is I don’t agree with the Working Families Party, but you know where they stand. The Conservative Party has a mission. The Independence Party, I’m not sure if they stand for anything. I don’t know what the Reform Party will stand for.”
In a statement, Astorino spokeswoman Jessica Proud indicated the party will stick to opposing Common Core, but also broaden its issues to include ethics issues.
“This will be a narrowly focused ballot line concentrating on clear initiatives, like repealing Common Core, state term limits, and other ethics reforms,” Proud said. “County Executive Astorino has been in close touch with Chairman Long and others to keep them informed of the party’s progress.”
Still, Long said Conservative Party members were “hurt” that they spent time helping Astorino gain the needed signatures to get on the ballot with the idea that the party would be focused on opposing Common Core.
Others were upset the idea of the name itself.
“The Conservative Party is supposed to be the reform party,” said Fran Vella, the Conservative party treasurer.
“We thought when they initially petitioned for the Common Core line, that this was going to be a one-shot deal,” she added. “That is was just something the gubernatorial candidate and the state slate needed in the general election. We never thought this was going to be a permanent party.”
Astorino isn’t the only 2014 statewide ticket leader to come under criticism for the creation of a ballot line.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has faced criticism from the Working Families Party over the formation of the Women’s Equality Party ballot line, which WFP officials said helped siphon votes away from their ballot line.
Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Party also received the needed number of votes to continue through this election cycle.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on February 10, 2015 at 7:00 pm, and is filed under Conservative Party. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|