Accusations are flying that Mayor Bloomberg's big contributions to the Republican and Independence parties may have had a hand in helping the Mayor win those two ballot lines. From the Daily News:
The going rate for a ballot line in New York City appears to be $250,000.
That's how much it cost Mayor Bloomberg to win over the initially recalcitrant city Republican committees and earn the right to run a third time on their ballot line.
Four of the five county GOPs have filed their July 15 campaign finance reports, and each has received $50,000 apiece from the Democrat-turned-Republican-turned independent mayor.
It just so happens that $250,000 is the same amount the mayor contributed to the city Independence Party on May 15 - about a month after the minor party gave Bloomberg the nod to run again on its line, too.
The Working Families Party endorsement, on the other hand, has always been about the issues. On July 2nd, the WFP held this election year's first open mayoral forum. Thousands of WFP supporters voted online for what questions we should ask the candidates. The result was a real exercise in democracy - Mayor Bloomberg, Bill Thompson, and Tony Avella heard directly from WFP members on the issues that affect their lives. Check out the highlights:
Hundreds of people at the forum (and hundreds more watching the live online broadcast at home) graded the candidate's responses. The result was overwhelming: on the issues that matter to working families, Bill Thompson was the clear leader of the pack.
A week later, the grassroots leadership of the WFP, (the New York City Coordinating Council, which collectively represents hundreds of thousands of working New Yorkers) followed the clear preference of WFP members - voting over 2-1 to endorse Bill Thompson.
That's how the WFP holds the politicians accountable: ask the tough questions, get real answers, and support the candidates who promise to support working people.
Note for those outside New York: Our great state has fusion voting. It allows candidates to run on the ballot line of one or more parties. Third party endorsements, like the WFP's, don't just give a candidate another line on the ballot - they give voters a better sense of what the candidates stand for.