That's the news. November doesn't have to be the predicted Andrew Cuomo coronation. The widespread corruption in Albany doesn't have to continue. Progressives don't have to hold their noses and endorse the status quo. There is an alternative.
I wrote about this yesterday. The essay received very little attention. Maybe it was because it was a sunny Saturday in the Empire State. Maybe it's because of my own weak mojo. So I am trying it once again.
The salient point: you have a choice in New York's governor's race. The prevailing wisdom is that Andrew Cuomo is going to win by a landslide. This, despite the maelstrom created by his canceling "his" Moreland Commission and the impending investigation by the Southern District US Attorney. Como it was said would smash Republican Rob Astorino, a conservative Westchester County whacko. Astornino was so weak that even Chris Christie pronounced the candidacy a lost cause.. Sounds like it's all over but the talking heads. Well, it's not.
Please take a look at Zephyr Rain Teachout (her real name). A Democratic, progressive candidate for Governor.
Teachout is a law professor at Fordham. Her running mate, Tim Wu, is a law professor at Columbia who is credited with inventing the phrase "net neutrality."
Teachout served as the Director of Internet Organizing for the 2004 Howard Dean presidential campaign. Until some recent press in the Nation and yesterday in the NY Times, she was virtually unknown. Let's face it: unless you're a governmental corruption law groupie or one of her students, you don't know her name.
All great outsider credentials. Including the seeming anonymity. All part of a story that you can now help write, of upset of a corrupt favorite, surprises, righteousness, excitement, progressivism.
But wait. First some details. Zephyr Teachout has a lot going for her, the best part, why she's running. She says:
The system is rigged, and Andrew Cuomo is part of the broken system. We are running to lay out a bold vision and provide a real choice for voters. New York can have an economy that works for all of us — not one which works only for the wealthy and well connected. We believe in a New York where wages are rising, small businesses are thriving and our public schools are the best in the nation.Sounds good to me. With a potential federal indictment beclouding Cuomo's future, corruption running rampant in Albany (tell me something that's new, ok?), and the chance to end the cycle of impunity that has dominated state government for decades, please consider backing a wonderful underdog and making the upcoming election a real debate about actual issues that matter.
We are not Albany insiders, but we believe Governor Cuomo and Kathy Hochul can be beat, and must be challenged. We will force Governor Cuomo to defend his record of deep education cuts, his tax cuts for banks and billionaires, his refusal to ban fracking and his failure to lead on the Dream Act. He has also failed to deliver on his core campaign promise from four years ago: cleaning up Albany.
Governor Cuomo and his corporate backers are going to come after us, and we need to know we can count on your support - can we count on you?
Yesterday'sNY Times finally noticed Teachout's campaign and is, sadly, so disparaging of her chances. Of course. It reports:
Lawrence Lessig, the eminent legal academic and advocate of campaign finance reform, has called Ms. Teachout’s bid “the most important money-in-politics race of the year.” As her running mate, Ms. Teachout chose another celebrated legal theorist, the Columbia professor Tim Wu.In other words, we're not even getting to the other parts of her platform. Cannot even nod toward them, let alone enumerate them in the Times. So it goes in the world of political dismissals.
In some sense, Ms. Teachout’s emphasis on corruption has kept her in a cycle of inefficiency. It is what has caused the media to pay attention to her, so she has kept talking about it, but voters don’t vote as much from a place of outrage over this or that duplicity or brazen exchange as they do from a sense that prevailing economic paradigms have abused them. And it is not always the case that they see the connection between the two.
Corruption, as Don Levy, the director of the Siena Research Institute, told me, “isn’t something that really adheres.” When voters are surveyed, they typically say that they regard corruption as commonplace, which is also to say that they regard it as part of the atmosphere, like humidity in August, immune to undoing. In a recent Siena poll, 65 percent of voters said that they were never surprised when another state legislator in New York was indicted, and that they believed lawmakers “do what’s best for them.”
And so, folks, Zephyr Teachout needs some serious outreach and some serious campaign help to make this the campaign we deserve.
And, you knew this was coming, she needs some money. Some of your money. You've done this before. Tiny amounts and lots of them. Amounts small enough that it won't hurt. Here's the link: https://zephyrteachout.nationbuilder.com/....
Join me in my excitement about this candidacy. It has been forever since New York has had such a wonderful progressive candidate and a chance for a serious discussion of the actual issues. Let's take Albany out of the back rooms, let the sun shine in and let's make this important discussion happen.