With their future in the balance, the Working Families Party is investing money in one final push to keep their ballots up in the upcoming presidential election.
The third-party independent spending committee is launching an $ 800,000 email and digital advertising campaign this week to encourage voters to support Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on the ballot next month – an attempt to maintain his electoral presence in New York in future elections.
The mailers previewed by POLITICO include Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and city public attorney Jumaane Williams, who campaigns for the party’s importance and implores voters to vote for the Working Families Party at the ballot box.
“When politicians see our voices in the line of the working families, they hear our message,” it says in a mailer. “We have to defend our movement,” says another.
The buying frenzy, which is about a quarter of the close $ 3.9 million currently in the committee’s federal account, comes at a critical time.
Due to a recent change in state electoral rules, parties must now receive 2 percent of the total turnout in a presidential election in order to maintain their ballot papers. The Working Families Party estimates it would need to get about 150,000 votes, which is three times the previous need.
In a press release announcing the latest spike in spending, the party made attempts by “Gov. [Andrew] Cuomo and the legislature to silence independent parties. ”The long-standing feud between the Working Families Party and Cuomo was exacerbated when the left-wing organization backed its main challenger, Cynthia Nixon, in 2018. Cuomo’s team has since insisted that he doesn’t stand behind the rule change and called all charges to the contrary a “never-ending conspiracy”.
Major donors to the independent spending committee, which supports campaigns across the country, include the Democracy PAC, funded by the democratic mega-donor George Soroswho gave $ 1 million in three installments earlier this year; Susan Pritzker, a prominent Democratic donor; and a committee affiliated with the Service Employees International Union, according to a filing with the federal electoral commission.
The Working Families Party was founded in New York as a bastion of local private and public sector unions and advocacy groups promoting immigration, criminal justice and housing reform. It took off in 2009, electing a number of city council candidates who defeated incumbents supported by the county’s Democratic parties and captured two city-wide positions: Bill de Blasio as public attorney and John Liu as city inspector.
Attorney General Tish James entered politics when she won a seat on the council following the party’s line in 2003.
His recent victories include raising the state minimum wage to $ 15 and defeating a crossover group of federal Democratic legislators allied with Republicans in the state Senate.
In recent years, however, the state party has been plagued by internal rifts between more politically conservative unions and more activist organizations such as Make the Road and New York Communities for Change. Many of the paid organized labor groups have left the party and it has elected a new leadership that will replace a white man with a black woman at the top.
It ended up supporting Cuomo in 2018 after easily defeating Nixon in the primary, and has attributed the following fights to his behind-the-scenes machinations that the governor denies.
The party endorsed a number of Democratic candidates who won the state legislature primaries in June, but losing their own ballots would be a major blow.