No matter what happens at tomorrow’s vote of the city’s Working Families Party, Michael Bloomberg shouldn’t count on its endorsement.
Despite a report in today’s Times that the mayor hoped to win its nomination, party insiders say the choice actually comes down to Democrat Fernando Ferrer, or “no endorsement.”
Pro-Bloomberg members, led by the Mason Tenders District Council of the Laborers union, adopted a softer-sell strategy aimed at keeping the party out of the race altogether, rather than risking a volatile collision that could shatter the left-leaning organization apart.
Under party bylaws, an endorsement requires a two-thirds majority of its 110-member city coordinating council which has weighted voting. “There is a furious fight going on,” said one party official.
“I think it goes no endorsement,” said Mike McGuire, political director of the Mason Tenders. “Freddy has about 58 percent which isn’t enough.”
Meanwhile, the much larger state Independence Party is having a showdown of a different sort this Sunday in Albany where party chairman Frank MacKay says he has the votes to oust New York City party leader Lenora Fulani and several cohorts from the party’s state executive committee. MacKay has said that Fulani’s refusal to back away from prior anti-Semitic statements prompted his move.
On Thursday, MacKay’s bid won backing from former senator Alfonse D’Amato and ex-mayor Ed Koch who both announced support for the purge. “The removal of Fulani is long overdue. This was a courageous act and MacKay deserves applause,” said Koch in a coordinated press release by the party’s anti-Fulani forces.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 16, 2005