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Underdog group within the UFT union proposes interesting voting strategy

In New York City, the United Federation of Teachers union declined to endorse a candidate for Mayor. Though, a group within the UFT, called ICE, has made an interesting endorsement: They ask members to vote for anybody on the ballot, except incumbent Mayor Bloomberg. Because there are 8 candidates on the ballot — including 5 running solely on a third party line — that endorsement should help the numbers for third parties.

An article about the endorsement appeared in City Hall News (see link below). It is interesting that the article left out the list of other candidates. The other candidates on the ballot are:

William C. Thompson (Dem., Working Families), Stephen Christopher (Conservative), Francisca “Frances” Villar (Party for Socialism and Liberation), Dan Fein (Socialist Workers), Billy Talen (Green), Jimmy McMillan (Rent is Too High), Joseph Dobrian (Libertarian).

(excerpt from) City Hall News
Despite UFT Neutrality, Splinter Group Instructs Members To Oppose Bloomberg

By Andrew J. Hawkins

This year, the powerful United Federation of Teachers skipped endorsing in the mayor’s race.

But a small, dissident faction within the union has decided to break ranks, calling the UFT’s silence a sell-out.

So who did the group of rabble-rousers lift up their voices for?

None-of-the above.

“The decision to sit out the contest between Michael Bloomberg and his opponents speeds us to the brink of more disasters,” the dissident group, Independent Community of Educators (ICE), said in a statement, adding however, “It is difficult to offer [Democrat Bill] Thompson unqualified support when he has thrown support to mayoral control and supports much of the underlying corporate agenda for education.”

Their advice? Vote for anyone on the ballot. Anyone not named Michael Bloomberg, that is…

Observers interpreted the UFT’s decision to stay out of the race as a calculated move to shield the union during its ongoing contract negotiations with the city or as an effort to remain neutral in deference to the entreaties of the campaign…

Other ICE members explain their decision to say something stems from a larger discontent among city teachers with the Bloomberg administration.

“Even though the union is neutral, the average teacher is against [Bloomberg],” said Norman Scott, a retired teacher, education blogger and member of ICE. “Most teachers are saying, ‘What choice do we have? Bloomberg’s probably going to win, and if we oppose him we might not get our contract.’”…


  1. Vaughn Vaughn October 30, 2009

    Even both of the revolutionary communist candidates?

  2. Robert Milnes Robert Milnes October 30, 2009

    I repeat what I said before about the correct strategy forb this race. Talen & Dobrien should declare their support for the Progressive Libertarian Alliance Strategy. Talen should ask Dobrien to withdraw. It would be very dramatic for Dobrien to withdraw at a press conference and endorse Talen. & for Talen to call on progressives to vote for the Libertarians for City Comptroller and Public Advocate for which there are no Green competitors. Both should mention that progressives and libertarians should both vote for Ken Kaplan and John Paff, Libertarians for Governor and Lt. Governor in NJ as further example of The Strategy.

  3. Melty Melty October 30, 2009

    This is a job for approval voting. Do not for Bloomberg, and vote for all seven of the others.

  4. Dave Schwab Dave Schwab October 30, 2009

    Or instant runoff voting. You could rank your candidates in order of preference, putting Bloomie last or not at all.

  5. Pro-Pot Anti-Pot Pro-Pot Anti-Pot October 30, 2009

    Wrong robert, Billy needs to endorse the pro-pot anti-pot strategy. He needs to reach out beyond progressive and libertarians. 60% of people are either strongly pro-pot or strongly anti-pot. By making pot the number 1 issue, Talen is garunteed to win.
    Either Chris Daggett or Ken Kaplan has a chance to win in New Jersey with the strategy too. I know you’re not a Daggett fan, but I will invite him because he already has a broader base. Daggett or Kaplan needs to start planning ASAP. Haloween night, tomorrow night, there must be a press conference on the George Washington bridge to endorse the strategy.

  6. Dave Schwab Dave Schwab October 30, 2009

    Forget that. Reverend Billy should endorse the pro-pot, anti-crime strategy. Legalize marijuana, and you decimate a major funding source for organized crime.

  7. Pro-Pot Anti-Pot Pro-Pot Anti-Pot October 30, 2009

    Exactly TPR. The PPAPS only care sabout making marijuana the number one issue. It doesn’t matter whether it is actually legalized or not, as long as people are arguing about it more than any other issue, avoiding boring stuff like the economy and foreign policy.

  8. Thomas M. Sipos Thomas M. Sipos October 31, 2009

    Milnes, I’m from New York.

    The Republican, Conservative, and Liberal Parties have already (and often) run fusion tickets, usually for judges, cross-endorsing each other’s candidates.

    This made no news whatsoever. What’s more, these left/right fusion candidates are still buried by the Democratic candidates.

    So no, Milnes. A GP/LP fusion would not make for a “very dramatic” press conference. Such a press conference would be ignored by both media and voters.

    I say this because I have time on my hands. I know it won’t jar your fantasies one bit.

  9. Robert Milnes Robert Milnes October 31, 2009

    Thomas M. Sipos, you’ve been in the CA sun too long. You are talking about reactionary fusion. I’m talking about progressive/revolutionary fusion. That is why Gravel/Ruwart was such a big opportunity for the LP last year. Gravel a leftist of some sort. Maybe he can figure it out someday. & Ruwart a radical anarchist libertarian. & the fusion only applies to the executive ticket. Other ballots are vote coordination. Voters vote for EITHER a Green OR a Libertarian.

  10. Thomas M. Sipos Thomas M. Sipos October 31, 2009

    Milnes: Voters vote for EITHER a Green OR a Libertarian.

    Maybe in Milnesland. But in the United States, most voters vote for EITHER a Democrat or a Republican.

    A GP/LP fusion ticket, or vote coordination, or whatever, will not change that. It won’t draw 40% of voters. It won’t draw 34% of voters. There a good chance it won’t even draw 2% of voters.

  11. Third Party Revolution Third Party Revolution October 31, 2009

    If anyone wants to see the PLAS in action, then maybe we should look at the guy from Connecticut who is seeking the endorsement of the Green, Libertarian, Independent, and Connecticut for Lieberman Party nominations and see how he does in the general election.

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