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I received another email communication from Zephyr Teachout yesterday. She and Tim Wu are touring the state campaigning. They are looking for additional volunteers to help them conduct a grass roots campaign. See the text of her email below for the details.

We’re on fire! This week the Sierra Club, the National Organization for Women, and The Nation magazine, endorsed us. Today we launched our 3-day Whistleblower Tour across New York State. Sign up now to volunteer.

Our Whistleblower Tour will take us to 18 cities, towns and villages. At each stop we’re meeting our supporters and getting ready for Primary Day, Sep. 9.

We are blowing the whistle on Andrew Cuomo-era corruption in New York State. On the first day we – Visited a luxury highrise tower owned by Extell that was a target of a Moreland Commission subpoena.

Met with staff and residents at Valley View Center for Nursing Care and Rehabilitation. This is a state run facility threatened by privatization - a process for reducing services to seniors while increasing profits for private owners.

Toured the devastating effects of fracking in Montrose, PA. We could see how this supposedly 'safe' industry is poisoning the water, land, air and people. Immediately afterwards, we went to Binghamton to listen to fracktivists trying to avoid a similar fate in New York.

Listened to the stories of two whistleblowers in Buffalo who are part of Pigeongate, a sordid story invoking political fundraising that is also featured in the Moreland Commission report.

Everywhere we go we are highlighting stories of New Yorkers impacted by big money corruption. We'll be on the road for two more days, visiting Rochester, Watkins Glen, Syracuse, Albany, East Greenbush, Ghent, Woodstock, Kingston, New Paltz, White Plains, Queens, Uniondale and Brooklyn. See the whole agenda here.

The culture of corruption in New York politics must end - and we're only going to do it town by town, volunteer by volunteer, voice by voice. If you haven't signed up yet to volunteer, let this be the sign you were looking for.

Thank you.
-- Zephyr Teachout


Originally posted to jbob on Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 01:53 AM PDT.

Also republished by New York City.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The Quinnipiac (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    poll from last week was not good for Teachout. Cuomo's approval rating among all voters is 57/38, and among Democrats it is still a strong 76/19. That's a very high approval rating w weeks out from a primary. And 85% of Democrats have no opinion of Teachout as well as 91% of all women across political parties. The voters give Cuomo low marks for ethics, so they know about the allegations. But they (including Republicans) give him high marks for leadership qualities while giving the legislature a low 26% Approval.

    So two weeks out from a primary you've got a popular governor even though people know he's a bit dirty, who has very high approval numbers amongst Dems, a primary challenger with less than 15% name recognition even within her own party, and a general election GOP expected nominee who Cuomo is beating 56-28.

    Polls can change in two weeks. But not this much. I don't see any path for a virtual unknown in a primary to beat a sitting governor with both very high approval (76/19) and favorability (78/13) ratings among Democrats, and whose prospects in the general point to an overwhelming advantage. Dems like Cuomo, don't know his primary opponent, and have confidence that Cuomo will beat his GOP rival in the general.

    •  This Poll was asking about Quomo vs. Astorino (9+ / 0-)

      The Poll was not about Quomo vs. Teachout.
      Also it was not of Registered Democratic voters likely to vote in the primary.

      The Poll results released on Aug. 20 were from questions answered Aug. 14 - 17.

      The poll results were from 1034 NYS voters

      There were plenty of negatives about Andrew Quomo in there as well.

      August 20, 2014 - Gov. Cuomo Is Part Of New York Corruption Problem, More Voters Tell Quinnipiac University Poll; But Issue Has No Impact As Gov Tops Challenger 2-1

      Government corruption in New York State is a very or somewhat serious problem, 83 percent of voters say, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo is part of the problem, 48 percent of voters say, while 41 percent say he is part of the solution, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

      Voters disapprove 50 - 39 percent of the way Cuomo is handling ethics in government, but say 50 - 40 percent that he is honest and trustworthy. Voters say 49 - 31 percent that the governor would do a better job than Astorino handling ethics in government.

      "As they have in the past, voters say government corruption is a big New York problem. How is Gov. Andrew Cuomo doing in handling ethics problems? Not too hot, voters say. In fact, voters say he's part of the problem, not part of the solution," said Maurice Carroll, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.  

      Not much was asked about Teachout
      Zephyr Teachout, facing Cuomo on the Democratic primary ballot, who gets an 88-percent don't-know-enough score.
      Again here is a LINK to what I assume is the poll that is refered to in the comment above. Read it for yourself don't just accept the spin.
      Cuomo vs. Astorino is a race to the bottom between two corrupt New York politicians. Zephyr Teachout is a breath of fresh air compared to the those two.
      •  Correct jbob (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jbob, martini, sidnora, d3clark

        Let's recall the polling that launched the Zephyr, ne anti-Cuomo effort, this one

        Siena’s Steve Greenberg says the race becomes much closer, to just a 15 point lead for Cuomo. Astorino and the  third party candidate would each get 24% of the vote in the hypothetical match up . Greenberg says the numbers indicate unrest among the most leftward leaning Democrats.
        What percentage of the primary voters will be left-leaning, especially activated and energized left leaners.
        •  Thanks for that information, also remember (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          martini, d3clark

          The Democratic Party Line on the ballot in a general election in NY will appear above the Working Families or Womens Equality Party. If Teachout wins the primary she will have the Democratic Party Line on the ballot.

        •  This is the key (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          petral, jbob, averblue
          What percentage of the primary voters will be left-leaning, especially activated and energized left leaners.
          None of the polling outfits have really tried to gauge that.

          Turnout in Democratic primaries in NY state has always been pretty low.  Those that turn out tend to be engaged Democrats.  Seriously, why would a disengaged (and therefore, lazy) Democrat turn out for a primary?  There are about 5.6 million registered Democrats in this state.  Only about 250k - 300k of them generally turn out for primaries.

          IMO, the pollsters should have started polling likely primary voters the minute Teachout filed her petition.  But they didn't.  And won't.

          Which means at the end of the day, no one really knows what will happen.

          With all the reports of people getting calls from the Cuomo campaign polling them, you can be Cuomo has some internal polling numbers.  And you can bet that those numbers don't show the landslide he thought he was going to get, hence his efforts to knock Teachout off the Democratic ballot while ignoring Credico.

          This could be a contest after all.  We'll find out in a week and a half.

          There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy.

          by Darth Stateworker on Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 07:04:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Teachout's failure = our success (14+ / 0-)

      What you are saying is totally right. Teachout is not likely to win. But even failed primary challenges are worth supporting. At least that's how I see it. I wrote a comment explaining why in another diary yesterday. Since it may be relevant to this case, I'll reproduce it here.

      Primaries educate voters & build movement (4+ / 0-)

      People typically assume that running a progressive primary challenge is only worth it if they are successful. Or if there is a reasonable chance of success---the idea being that a robust challenge can push a-holes right-wing dems like Rahm to the left.

      In some cases right-leaning dems CAN be pushed left, but not the likes of Rahm. He is too deep in the corporate camp, and knows he's got a job in private sector (or as lobbiest) waiting for him whenever his political career ends. Plus, he's a dyed in the wool a-hole... so attempt to move him will just make him did in deeper and be even more vicious.

      Does that mean primary challenges are not worth it? No! Primarying unsatisfactory representatives from the left is ALWAYS worth it.

      In an idea world we would have activists and organizers who work full time to educate the public about progressive issues, and to expose people like Rahm. Be we do not live in an ideal world. The people who care most about defeating corporate dems, and who have most at stake, are the people who have the least time (because they are working thankless jobs and just trying to feed themselves and their families).

      And until a progressive Koch emerges---don't hold your breath---there will NEVER be funding for full time organizers to challenge the status quo. To think there could be is almost a contradiction in terms.

      The only institutionalized opportunity to run information campaigns is during primaries.

      This is not about persuading entrenched corporate dems. It is about persuading and educating the public about progressive issues. It is about getting the information out. People need to know that there IS an alternative---that Clinton-style politics is not the only conceivable alternative to Republicanism. ONLY when people come to understand that another world is possible will they lose their apathy. There are vast reservoirs of untapped votes. Poll after poll shows that most people's basic values are far to the left of either Democratic or Republican mainstream. Clinton-types and Republicans ALIKE benefit from the apathy of the average American, and from their sense of alienation from the political process.

      As long as people are not paying attention, because they think there is nothing in it for them and that the political system is all just "more of the same," WE LOSE.

      Progressive challenges are a NO-LOSE proposition. Because even if we lose, the issues we run on will be advanced. Slowly and steadily. So far as mainstream political discourse is concerned, our ideas don't even exist. That is what has to chance FIRST before we can ever hope to will elections from the left.

      If that seems too incremental, and too slow to ever make a difference, consider this. Suppose virtually unknown progressive candidate X is able to, over the course of a long-fought campaign, go from 8% of the vote to 15%. Sounds pathetic, right?

      But that is actually a lot of NEW progressive voters, who are voting this way because they have been newly convinced of the merit of progressive ideas! And once you see the light, you do not go back in to the darkness. That is a PERMANENT gain! That means the next time around we will not be starting from zero. That means we'll be that much closer to the finish line.

      And beyond those new 7% of voters, there is the even more important fact that the ideas will be out there. The strangle-hold on political discourse will have been broken. Even those stick with the same-old-same-old candidate, out of inertia or uncertainty, will at least have had the wheels in their mind started turning.

      Finally, apart from information and votes, every campaign---even an failed one---builds experience and new networks of people who know and trust one another, and who will have that much of an easier time mobilizing next time around.

      It is not a correct deduction from the principles of economics that enlightened self-interest always operates in the public interest. —John Maynard Keynes, "The End of Laissez Faire" (1926)

      by Nate Roberts on Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 04:56:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I say this, It aint over till it's over (11+ / 0-)

        While it may be true that even progressive failure in a primary can have benefits.
        I refuse to take a negative attitude.
        There has been no polling to project the possible results in a Democratic Party Primary Election.
        To me that shows it is wide open and the entrenched politicians are afraid.
        I say Donate, Spread the Word and Volunteer for this campaign to put progressive Democratic Party candidates on the ballot in New York.

        •  It's fine to support your favorite (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          candidate, even if they are likely to lose. I think though that it is always wise to understand the true nature of an election, and in this one where the outcome is already fairly certain, to not as a voter be wrong about the various candidates' chances. When people here try to convince others that a vote for Teachout is not a protest vote but that she actually may win this thing, that can only serve to confuse people. Cuomo is going to be the Democratic nominee, and will achieve reelection, despite his blemishes.

          •  I can haz hope! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cybrestrike, Travelin Man

            You can give in to the status quo without a fight. If it's already been determined please proceed to stay home on primary day.

          •  "Teachout can't win." (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            averblue, jbob

            Based on what metric?  7% name recognition?

            Let's examine that.

            There are approximately 20M people in New York State.  7% of that is about 1.4M people.

            Conversely, the last Democratic primary had about 300k voters turn out.

            Let's say half that 1.4M people that recognize Teachouts name are Democrats - which for a state as blue as NY is likely a little low, but lets be conservative.  Let's assume the people that know Teachouts name generally are engaged voters that tend to follow politics closely.

            Who is the most pissed off at Cuomo?  Engaged Democrats that have followed what he's done closely.  Who's most likely to turn out to vote in a primary election with historically low turnout?  Engaged voters.

            What this means is that if these people actually turn out, there's quite possibly (I would go so far as to say probably) a race here.

            To put all this in perspective:  the Cuomo campaign is (and has been) actively polling Democratic voters about the primary.  Even if there are no public numbers, the Cuomo camp has private numbers.  If those numbers were overwhelming, they'd be releasing them and talking them up.  They are silent.  Additionally, if their internal polling showed Teachout totally bombing out, the politically astute thing to do would have been to ignore her like they're doing with Credico instead of trying to knock her off the primary ballot - so as not to draw any attention to her.

            This could be much tighter than you give it credit for being, and as such, making a statement like...

            When people here try to convince others that a vote for Teachout is not a protest vote but that she actually may win this thing, that can only serve to confuse people.
  're marginalizing a candidate and doing exactly what you accuse the Teachout supporters are doing - confusing people - by essentially resigning to the "inevitability" of a Cuomo win, even though no direct evidence exists to reflect he'll win, because no real polling has been done.

            It's this kind of thinking - and discussion - that lets the status quo continue and "No Labels" Democrats continue to maintain office and proliferate.

            There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy.

            by Darth Stateworker on Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 07:27:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Primary challenges are only way to get attention (9+ / 0-)

        from party mandarins.  GOP fears its base while Dems diss their base.  It's long past time for us to start generating a little fear.

        Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

        by RFK Lives on Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 05:44:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If we really want to send a message (0+ / 0-)

          to politicians like Cuomo, the only way to do it is for someone prominent, with decent popularity, name recognition, and ability to raise money to run in the primary. Teachout is one of those politicians who does the quixotic runs that nobody else wants to do since the odds are practically zero. She may be someone we like on the issues, but she just is not a serious candidate for governor at this stage of her career. 91% of NY women don't even know enough about her to have an opinion, and the election is in less than two weeks. This is what I'm talking about.

          •  Name 1 prominent figure to mount primary challenge (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jbob, cybrestrike, unfangus, averblue

            in any senate or gubenatorial race this cycle.  Name 1 last cycle.  Don't waste your time--no such figure exists.

            Would I prefer that somone more prominent than Teachout be challenging Cuomo?  Of course I would.  Sometimes, however, you have to go w/ what you have.

            Plus, this campaign is generating an enthusiasm level the likes of which have been seriously lacking for most any Dem candidate since 2008.  The party "leadership" almost goes out of its way to tamp down enthusiasm anymore.

            Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

            by RFK Lives on Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 06:38:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  According to the poll, (0+ / 0-)

              only 9% of Democrats in NY said they have a favorable view of her. The other 91% either were unfavorable or had no opinion. So why I'd like to believe that the enthusiasm level is high, how do I reconcile that with these poll results?

              •  Please provide a link to this poll result (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                The poll I linked to in my comment above said this.

                Zephyr Teachout, facing Cuomo on the Democratic primary ballot, who gets an 88-percent don't-know-enough score.
                I did not see any 9 to 91 % numbers there.
                •  I thought I had provided (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  a link but I hadn't. So here it is. The 88% number is for all voters. The 91% is only Dems.

                  •  OK so it WAS the poll I provided a link to (0+ / 0-)

                    And you are spinning the hell out of the data.


                    only 9% of Democrats in NY said they have a favorable view of her. The other 91% either were unfavorable or had no opinion.
                    The survey question and data for Dem:
                    6. Is your opinion of Zephyr Teachout favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?  


                    Favorable             9%  
                    Unfavorable           5      
                    Hvn't hrd enough   85  
                    REFUSED                1    

                    The way you worded your comment was meant to make it seem as though 91% of Democratic voters had an unfavorable view of her.
                    It is here for all to see.
                    Thanks for letting us all see what you are about.
                    •  Teachout had a 2 to 1 favorable opinion among dem. (0+ / 0-)

                      voters who knew anything about her. How's that for some spin?

                      •  Yeah, among the 9% that (0+ / 0-)

                        had a view on her, she was favored 2:1. And you think that is a great thing, that of the tiny fraction of Dems that knows who she is that they approve of this Democrat? Cuomo's equivalent numbers among Democrats is 78/13 favorable/unfavorable, or 6:1. So Teachout is known by less than 10% of Dems and her favorables even amongst this tiny group are not nearly as good as Cuomo's favorables amongst virtually all Democrats.

                        My point isn't that Teachout is not a nice person or smart or wrong on the issues. It is that she is nowhere in this governor's race. One does not need to spin this poll to demonstrate that.

                      •  Cuomo has a 6 to 1 favorable (0+ / 0-)

                        amongst Dems (78 to 13). So he's known by about 10 times as many Dems and his favorables are still far better than hers. She is nowhere in this gubernatorial race, face it. Doesn't mean she isn't a nice person or smart or good on the issues. But there is no spin that can show her to be a horse with a chance in this particular race.

                    •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)
                      The way you worded your comment was meant to make it seem as though 91% of Democratic voters had an unfavorable view of her.
                      Here's my supposedly misleading quote:
                      The other 91% either were unfavorable or had no opinion.
                      I mean, how much more clear can a person be? What in your opinion do the words "or had no opinion" mean?
  •  Teachout/Wu posters for free (7+ / 0-)

    If you'd like the art for a window-size Teachout/Wu poster, kosmail me with an email address and I will send it to you. You can have it printed out at Staples.

    The file should also be available on the campaign's website, possibly as soon as today.

    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

    by sidnora on Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 05:34:32 AM PDT

  •  Just in my own little universe in Southampton (6+ / 0-)

    Township I can see the word-of-mouth working.

    My sis-in-law teacher, who, when I shared Teachout's education platform exclaimed, "She's awesome," and volunteered to show Teachout's platform to her fellow teachers.

    It's me sharing the Kathy Hochul video with friends and fellow Democrats, who, after viewing the video exclaimed they would definitely vote for Wu and probably Teachout.

    It's me writing a letter to the Southampton Press and several friends emailing me to say...she's got my vote.

    Just keep talking, espousing, reach out for Teachout and just maybe.

    •  ^This is what the Teachout-Wu campaign wants^ (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Word of mouth grass roots support. You have to have faith that this grass roots type of organizing can still work. If you have made a donation to their campaign you will have seen the very low total donation limits they are setting. To me this is one of the best things about them as candidates. I feel that there is no need to worry about them being "bought and paid for" like Governor 1% and so many other politicians.

    •  "definitely vote for Wu and probably Teachout" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      That is an interesting divergence, especially with Hochul having low name recognition, some higher negatives and Wu getting the Times.  

      I was thinking Wu runs 10 points ahead of Teachout but it could be more.

  •  I Luv Zephyr Teachout & The Tim Wu Clan! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4mygirls, jbob

    My daughter has illegally downloaded all of their songs!

    Oh, wait... I thought this was a Jbou dairy...

    my bad.

  •  Eric Cantor (6+ / 0-)

    There was no polling suggesting that Cantor had anything to worry about either. He was facing an unknown and underfunded candidate too.
    The thing about primaries is that only the most highly motivated tend to come out, especially when there is such a strong presumption that one candidate will coast to an easy victory.
    I still think is extremely unlikely that Teachout will win, but Cantor's loss shows that a savy ground and social media campaign, in a low turnout primary can generate surprises.
    Blair Horner of NYPRG thinks that if Teachout can win 30% of the vote that might be enough coattails to help Wu win the Lt. Gov race and that would definitely send a powerful message to Cuomo.
    Teachout has shown she can organize a ground game already by coming up with 45K signatures to get on the ballot in the first place. She's also been doing a good job of getting some high profile endorsements  and the Cuomo attempts to kick her off the ballot only helped get her better known.
    This is going to be an interesting race to watch.

  •  Channeling A. J. MacInerney... (5+ / 0-)

    These days, as I listen to all who say that supporting Zephyr Teachout is a waste of energy, I am reminded of a scene in The American President where President Shepherd is explaining his reluctance to fight by saying that he can't win that fight... to which his chief of staff, A. J. MacInerney, responds: "Oh, you only fight the fights you can win? You fight the fights that need fighting!"

    I am also reminded of many other social struggles where the goals seemed unreachable and are still today beyond our reach, and I wonder which of today's democrats would say "...the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die."

    Where are those democrats?

    “The aim of mankind should be to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world.”--Edith Hamilton (1867-1963)

    by cinepost on Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 08:47:24 AM PDT

    •  Love that quote. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      George3, jbob, cinepost

      And use it often myself.

      There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy.

      by Darth Stateworker on Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 07:31:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So, let's see... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Darth Stateworker

        That makes you... and me... that's two. Add a third and before you know it, we'll have a movement. At least that's what Arlo Guthrie said back in the day...

        “The aim of mankind should be to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world.”--Edith Hamilton (1867-1963)

        by cinepost on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 04:50:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  My County Fair (Rensselaer Co.,in Schaghticoke NY) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    has polical booths in one section.

    Yesterday I walked past the long line of well-staffed Rep., TP, several Second Amendment booths (heck even one of the Church outreach kiosks has a great big "Well-Regulated Militia" poster hanging on the wall -Guns for Jesus, I guess) to try and find the Democratic stand.

    After two passes I finally found it, nobody there and just two lame piles of cards for the DA and a state legislature candidate on the table. Nothing about the primary, or Governor's race. And nothing about Teachout, either, to my disappointment.

    The Fair runs through Labor Day; I suppose there's no hope of a visit?

    If nothing else, all the lime-green T-shirts that say "Cuomo's Gotta Go" which people are sporting should cheer her up!  Everytme I see one I smile, but not for the same reason the wearers' think!


    •  I went to the Washington County fair last week (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The Democratic booth had two people at it and information about all of the candidates except for governor 1%.
      I thought that was interesting.

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