Howie Hawkins said today that the decision by the Working Families Party to nominate Governor Andrew Cuomo for a second term of Governor was an abandonment of working class and progressive voters, just further proof that the WFP is merely a liberal wing on the Democrats.
Hawkins said that the door to the Green Party was open to WFP members. “We feel their pain over the Cuomo nomination. We are here for them. We give them a place to organize and vote against the Cuomo agenda and for progressive policies.”
“We invite progressive, grassroots workers and community members who are looking for a union member to support to vote for the Green Party this November. We will also be targeting communities of color who feel abused and neglected by the Cuomo administration and his austerity policies on schools, criminal justice and human services,” said Hawkins, a working Teamster from Syracuse who unloads truck at night for UPS for a living.
Hawkins noted that the decisions in the Working Families has always been made based on financial contributions. The statewide nominations were the one exception due to the dictates of state election law. But even when the base overwhelmingly opposed Cuomo, the large funders still prevailed. Hawkins said that he and his Lt. Governor candidate, NYC educator Brian Jones, looked forward to debating Cuomo and Republican Astorino on issues such as
- schools (funding, charters, high state testing),
- economic issues ($15 hour minimum wage, public job creation, tax the rich),
- criminal justice (marijuana legalization, prisons),
- energy (100% clean renewable energy by 2030, ban on fracking) and
- health care (single payer, hospital closings).
“The WFP is a tool of the Democrats and their corporate sponsors to confuse voters into supporting the agenda of the 1%. They literally have sold their souls to the devil. And the reality is that they have delivered only a few minor reforms during their 16 years of existence while doing their best to undercut the development of a true independent progressive movement in New York,” noted Hawkins.
“After all their noise and hand wringing, they once again turned their back on their grassroots supporters and did the bidding of those who pay their bills. It has been a great fundraising and GOTV team for hire. Money talks when it comes to the WFP,” noted Hawkins.
NYPIRG recently noted that the biggest source of money for the WFP is not the unions, but transfers, usually from candidates they have endorsed (52.36%). This means that much of WFP funding is actually laundered donations from corporate and special interests who gave to Democratic Party candidates.