NY: Critique of third party fusion strategy

(excerpt from) onthewilderside.com
The pointlessness of fusion parties like Working Families

by Ian Wilder / September 16, 2009

OK, so an acquaintance in the death penalty abolition movement asked me to take a look at Richard Aborn, who was running for Manhattan DA.  Aborn already had the Working Families line.  Working Families represents itself as the progressive party in NY, and Aborn was being represented as the progressive candidate for Manhattan DA.  Aborn was also in the Democratic Primary for Manhattan D.A., which was won last night by Cy Vance Jr.

According to the AP article,  Aborn “said he will support the Democratic nominee“  So what’s the point of getting the Working Families nomination?  Is it just a second line to be thrown away if the first line does not come through?

Now, to me, the whole point of an election is that it is one of the few chances to influence public policy in a political world dominated by corporate money.  This is especially true in the Manhattan D.A.’s race which is one of the safest place for an incumbent in the country.  The current officeholder was in the position for 35 years.  Once a new Manhattan D.A. is elected, there will be little pressure on him to engage in public policy debate.

Not that there is much pressure on Vance now that he has won the Democratic Primary, which in Manhattan is tantamount to winning the general election.    Which makes it especially galling that the Working Families nominee has bowed out.

By not continuing to pressure Vance from the left with the platform provided by a general election candidacy, Aborn has lost the major opportunity to affect the public policy that comes out of this election.  A public policy agenda that could potentially be set for the next three decades.

17 thoughts on “NY: Critique of third party fusion strategy

  1. KensingtonVoter

    As a fan of Aborn, I think you don’t get what the WFP is all about. There are other groups that see the protest or ideas candidacy as an important function. 99% of the time, that won’t be true for the WFP. They are in it to WIN.

    And they have a track record of doing it.

    They would never have supported Aborn as they did without the hope that he would prevail.

    Now that he has lost – time to move on to other arenas where the WFP can get the most out of its recent victories.

    FYI for those outside NYC – last night they won bigtime. They unseated more incumbents and elected more grassroots people than any political force in recent memory. It’s quite amazing.

    Let’s retreat from the Manhattan DA’s race and focus on legislative agendas, like more reform of the Rockefeller drug laws.

  2. citizen1

    I do not get it if you are still on the ballot. I understand endorsing another candidate if you are not going to be on the ballot. This is like saying vote for me I am the best candidate and then saying just kidding I wasted time and public money this guy is the best candidate don’t vote for me.

  3. paulie

    If you’d listened to me and tried the Progressive Green Libertarian Communist Neo-Nazi Alliance strategy, with the Cato Institute 13% libertarian vote and a whole bunch of women, you losing loser losers wouldn’t be losing, but nooooooo.

    ROFL. Nominated for comment of the day!

  4. paulie

    or maybe he is not aware that he is on the ballot with the WFP ticket.

    LOL. He is fully aware. He is consciously, purposely throwing the ballot line away.

  5. Dave Schwab

    What I don’t understand is why the WFP doesn’t make itself a caucus of the Democratic Party. For a WFP candidate to quit because someone else won the Dem nod is basically an admission that WFP has no value other than a Democratic pressure group. And not much of one, considering all the corrupt machine insiders they endorsed – actually working against the more progressive Democrats like Yetta Kurland.

    Well, I’m sure the WFP insiders will get fat checks from the Democratic insiders for their help, which is really what it’s all about.

  6. VAGreen

    “Well, I’m sure the WFP insiders will get fat checks from the Democratic insiders for their help, which is really what it’s all about.”

    Yeah, like they did in 2006. The WFP falsely claimed that Cindy Sheehan had endorsed them when she was supporting Green Party candidates Malachy McCourt for Governor and Howie Hawkins for Senate. They played the Nader card against the Greens, complaining about “spoiling” in a race where their guy Spitzer was leading in the polls by more than 40%. It had nothing to do with helping Spitzer win, because there was no way he could lose. It was about keeping the Greens’ vote totals down so they couldn’t get ballot status. What a class act.

  7. libertariangirl

    PO__
    If you’d listened to me and tried the Progressive Green Libertarian Communist Neo-Nazi Alliance strategy, with the Cato Institute 13% libertarian vote and a whole bunch of women, you losing loser losers wouldn’t be losing, but nooooooo.

    me__
    ROFLMAO

  8. Richard Cooper

    Andrew Cuomo did the same thing for governor in 2002 leading to the demise of the Liberal Party. He is now the Attorney-General and rumored to be considering a primary challenge to Governor Paterson.

  9. Richard Winger

    Sometimes the Working Families Party cross-endorses Republican nominees. In 2008 it cross-endorsed 2 Republican legislative nominees in Connecticut, 3 in Delaware, and 13 in New York. Sometimes it runs its own members, also.

  10. Michael Cavlan

    paulie // Sep 16, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    If you’d listened to me and tried the Progressive Green Libertarian Communist Neo-Nazi Alliance strategy, with the Cato Institute 13% libertarian vote and a whole bunch of women, you losing loser losers wouldn’t be losing, but nooooooo.

    ROFL. Nominated for comment of the day!

    8Trent Hill // Sep 16, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    Seconded.

    Thirded. OMG, this made me spray my coffee all over the computer.

    LOLOL

  11. Michael Cavlan

    On a serious note, this issue of fusion with the “major” party was articulated best by former Green Party Delegate (and good friend) John Murphy. It is about FUSION WITH the Dems or FISSION FROM the Dems.

    As I like to say. at least for those of us who are serious about building an alternative to the pro-war, corporate corrupted two party system. The ones who do not care about how their “Democrat friends” (UFPJ, Medea Benjamin, CODE PINK etc etc) will complain about “spoilers.”

    In 2004 those “evil” Naderittes had a great tee shirt. It said ” The System Is Rotten-Of Course I’m A Spoiler” and Ralph Nader underneath.

    They wore the spoiler badge with pride.

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