Voting in New York

The Green Party candidate for governor, Howie Hawkins, has no chance of winning, which doesn’t prevent me from considering voting for him. I mean, he’s GREEN.

voteI found this article from September that explains to you folks outside of New York the crazy voting quilt: Why are so many parties allowed on the ballot in New York?

And this doesn’t even count some parties started just for this election. Governor Andrew Cuomo is also running on the Women’s Equality Party, as well as the Democratic and Working Family Party. I could explain this, but I’d infuse the commentary with too much sarcasm.

Even when I agree with him on some social issues, he comes off as an inflexible bully. And corrupt: most recently, his book publisher was given access to his campaign email lists.

My friend Dan is no fan of Andrew Cuomo, at all.

The Republican, Rob Astorio, is a rube, who said, re: the potential cut in dental benefits, almost literally, “Let them eat soup.” Does anyone REALLY want this guy, or do they pick him because he’s just the major party guy running against Cuomo?

The Green Party candidate, Howie Hawkins, has no chance of winning, which doesn’t prevent me from considering voting for him. I mean, he’s GREEN.

Then there are the ballot initiatives:

Proposal 1 revises the state’s redistricting procedure. It seems like such a great idea, and good government groups are actually split on it. But it is fake reform. Prop 1 will force future map drawers to consider the current district lines that are already flawed. Moreover, most of the participants on the group drawing lines are selected by the state legislature, AND the legislators can essentially ignore the committee’s suggestions.

Proposal 2 would allow electronic distribution of a state legislative bill to satisfy the constitutional requirement that a bill be printed and on the desks of state legislators at least three days before the Legislature votes on it, with requirements that the bill cannot be changed electronically without leaving a record of the changes. The legislature is a notorious tree-killer, and this seems to be a reasonable solution.

Proposal 3 has the attractive name, the SMART SCHOOLS BOND ACT OF 2014, which “authorizes the sale of state bonds of up to two billion dollars ($2,000,000,000) to provide access to classroom technology and high-speed internet connectivity to equalize opportunities for children to learn, to add classroom space to expand high-quality pre-kindergarten programs, to replace classroom trailers with permanent instructional space, and to install high-tech smart security features in schools.” How could one oppose this? My fear is that the computer hardware and devices purchased will become obsolete long before taxpayers repaid the debt.

Here’s an explanation of the importance of midterm elections to students, because American voters are notoriously bad at participating in non-Presidential elections. And when they DO decide to cast their ballots, they run into voter suppression.

Governor Teachout? Governor Hawkins?

There have been no public polls of a head-to-head contest between Cuomo and Teachout.

Wu and Teachout in June 2014 (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Wu and Teachout in June 2014 (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Professor Alan Chartock correctly notes that Governor Andrew Cuomo should have left Zephyr Teachout alone, rather than trying to get her thrown off the September 9 primary ballot in the Democrats’ race for governor. I’m not so sure that she “knows” that she cannot win, as Chartock suggests. She seems to be running a vigorous campaign, even though most people STILL don’t know who she is.

But they know who HE is, and it isn’t all pretty.” Corporatist” and “bully” and possibly “corrupt”, some suggest, and I think that gives her a fighting chance.

That is why I’m frustrated that there have been no public polls of a head-to-head contest between Cuomo and Teachout. I wish that they be out there asking the question, if only because it would inform people that there actually IS a primary on September 9. Voting is from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in New York City, but only from noon to 9 p.m. upstate.

Moreover, a race for lieutenant governor as well, between Kathy Hochul and Tim Wu is emerging. I can’t imagine Hochul, Cuomo’s pick has such great name recognition that she couldn’t be knocked off by Teachout’s running mate Wu; moreover, from clips from the Teachout-Wu campaign, Hochul is far more conservative than most Democrats in this state. The insurgent ticket of Teachout and Wu is picking some endorsements, maybe not enough to knock off the governor, but certainly his pick for the second spot.

The pollsters keep asking about the Cuomo-Rob Astorino race but usually leave Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins off the ballot. I suspect, if Teachout loses, a lot of disaffected Democrats, irritated by Cuomo’s Working Families Party endorsement, the Moreland Commission debacle, and general irritation with the governor is a bully, will vote for Hawkins, especially if they feel it won’t cause Astorino to win.

But if Teachout wins the primary, Cuomo COULD remain governor, since he’s still on the Working Families Party line, and Teachout and Hawkins could split the progressive vote.


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