[ It’s a once-in-a-blue-moon event for the Working Families
Party to tell voters to stay away from our ballot line. But when Joe
Lieberman is making an argument for voting on the WFP line, something
is very fishy. So how’d we end up here?] [https://portside.org/] 

 VOTE AGAINST JOE CROWLEY IN NOVEMBER: THE WORKING FAMILIES PARTY
CHAIR REGRETS NOT ENDORSING ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ  
[https://portside.org/node/17767] 

 

 Dan Cantor 
 July 25, 2018
New York Daily News
[http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/ny-oped-vote-against-joe-crowley-in-november-20180724-story.html]


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 _ It’s a once-in-a-blue-moon event for the Working Families Party
to tell voters to stay away from our ballot line. But when Joe
Lieberman is making an argument for voting on the WFP line, something
is very fishy. So how’d we end up here? _ 

 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pictured during her victory celebration on
June 26, 2018., Sam Costanza for New York Daily News 

 

Tuesday, June 24 was a big night for us. WFP-backed candidates won
important primaries up and down the ballot. Ben Jealous, the
civil-rights leader, rocked the Maryland gubernatorial primary. Dana
Balter, an activist professor, defeated the establishment pick in a
Syracuse Congressional district. We won upsets in Colorado legislative
races.

But the biggest win that night belonged to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,
who defeated longtime incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in a Congressional
primary. Embarrassingly enough, the WFP wasn't part of it.

Given our long history of battling the center-right of the Democratic
Party, it’s fair to wonder why we weren’t in Ocasio-Cortez’s
corner from the start.

Here’s the truth: At the moment when WFP leaders in New York had to
choose our nominees, we were focused on the prospect of all-out battle
with Gov. Cuomo and the so-called “Independent Democrats” who
together spent the better part of eight years empowering the
Republicans in the state Senate.

The governor had a $30 million war chest and a reputation for seeing
politics as a blood sport. With that on our plate, we were reluctant
to take on another fight with another powerful Democrat.

At the same time, we saw Crowley moving in our direction on a few key
issues. He came out for a $15 minimum wage and Medicare for All, and
he stood up for Dreamers. So we endorsed him.

It was a mistake. Ocasio-Cortez knew something we didn’t. She
gambled that voters were ready for a candidate who told the truth
about our society and economy. Who didn’t mince words about the
economic, racial and gender inequality that characterize life in the
Bronx and Queens (and America) today. Who would put forward a bold,
progressive vision.

In other words, the kind of candidate the WFP is always looking for,
even as we were unable to join her in the moment.

On primary night, we were thrilled to see Ocasio-Cortez win, and
endorsed her immediately. Our members and supporters will
enthusiastically support her in November — on the Democratic Party
line.

Why? Because Crowley declined to vacate the WFP line, despite our
requests, and so we're stuck with him on the ballot.

Crowley has said repeatedly that he isn’t running, but removing
himself from the ballot would have eliminated any doubt.

But he refused, and under New York law, that decision rests in his
hands.

Voters in the 14th district will not be confused. But one prominent
ex-Democrat is trying to confuse things.

Lieberman, the former Democratic Senator from Connecticut, published a
bizarre op-ed last week in the Wall Street Journal. In it, he urged
Democrats to vote for Crowley on the WFP line, because Ocasio-Cortez
scares the daylights out of conservative Democrats like him.

Lieberman was a leading cheerleader for George W. Bush’s march to
war in Iraq. He endorsed John McCain over Obama in 2008, then killed
the “public option” during the push to pass the Affordable Care
Act. Now, he works for Trump's law firm.

If Ocasio-Cortez represents the future of the Democratic Party,
Lieberman represents the worst of its past. It’s infuriating to see
him cynically make a case for voting WFP.

Ultimately, his temper tantrum won’t matter. Ocasio-Cortez will win
in November, and she will be a leader in the fight for a genuinely
multi-racial populism in America.

With some hard work and a little luck, there’ll be many more like
her, if we have anything to do with it.

_[Dan Cantor is national chair of the Working Families Party.]_

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