UFT “Endorsements” – a frustrating year – Part II
In the first part of this post, I wrote a bit about the governor’s race. The UFT helped Cuomo secure the Working Families Party line, then refused to support his opponent in the primary (and the AFT President made calls on behalf of Cuomo’s running mate), and watched Cuomo take the general election. And as a reward for not interfering with his election, we got nothing but problems from the guy.
But were there other problems with UFT endorsements this year?
In the fall:
Charlie Rangel. They endorsed Adriano Espaillat against Rangel in the primary, and tried to sneak it through the exec board without mentioning who Espaillat’s opponent was. Espaillat lost.
Robert Jackson. This guy has been a champion for public education, instrumental in winning the CFE case, our friend, our ally, John Dewey award winner. We endorsed Espaillat against him, and Espaillat won, 50% to 43%. But which one of these guys is still out there working for public education?
John Liu. Our friend. Damaged in a financial scandal that looks like it was intentionally dragged out to hurt him. Running for state senate against Tony Avella, one-time progressive who joined the semi-Republican IDC to keep the state senate in Republican hands. We have a clear side in this race, right? Wrong, the UFT sat it out. Avella won, 6,813 votes to Liu’s 6,245.
Jeff Klein, turncoat democrat who leads the IDC and keeps the Senate republican. He got primaried, about time. The UFT supported him anyway.
Tea Party backed, about-to-be-indicted congressman Michael Grimm from Staten Island was challenged in the general election. The UFT sat out the race.
In the spring:
When Karim Camara took a job with Cuomo, his assembly seat opened up. The UFT pushed an endorsement for Shirley Patterson, running democratic and independence parties (which should have been a sign). The endorsement pitch did not mention her Independence Party connection, her connections to landlord groups, or that her chief opponent, Diana Richardson was running with tenant organization support on the Working Families Party line. Richardson won, the first assemblyperson who won on the WFP but not Democratic Party line, and without UFT support at that.
Grimm’s seat opened up, due to Grimm being indicted, and once again the UFT sat out the race (they would not have even mentioned it had we not asked).