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Zephyr Teachout’s campaign manager, Mike Boland, officially endorsed Andrew Cuomo for governor on Thursday. In an email to supporters, Boland said he would be voting for Cuomo on the Working Families Party line.
It’s an eyebrow-raiser because Boland, a former field director for Working Families, publicly broke with the party this summer over its decision to cut a deal with Cuomo instead of supporting Teachout.
Apparently any bad blood — over the fact that Boland publicly accused Cuomo of sending protesters to yell things like “Go back to Vermont!” at a Teachout event, for instance — is forgotten, or at least ignored for now.
In his email, Boland urged Working Families supporters turned off by Cuomo (including those who supported Teachout in the September primary) to hold their noses and vote for him anyway. “The more votes progressives cast for Gov. Cuomo on the WFP line, the stronger position WFP will be in come November 5th,” he said.
Teachout herself declared earlier this week that she would not be endorsing Cuomo. (She had previously said she would if he publicly opposed fracking in New York.)
Here’s Boland’s full endorsement:
[Your name here],
I managed Zephyr Teachout’s campaign for governor of New York. In 5 days, I’ll be voting on the Working Families Party line for Andrew Cuomo for Governor — and I am asking you to join me.
I wanted to take a quick moment to explain why.
I didn’t agree with the decision by the Working Families Party to nominate Andrew Cuomo for governor this summer. Like many progressives, I disagreed strongly with the Governor’s economic policies over the last four years. That’s a big reason why I left the WFP after 15 years to be Zephyr Teachout’s campaign manager. I’m proud of what we accomplished on that campaign. I believe we helped change the conversation in New York politics.
But the question facing voters on Tuesday isn’t who will be governor for the next four years — we already know the answer to that one. The real question facing all of us is how strong the progressive movement will be after the election, and if we will have the type of infrastructure necessary to hold Gov. Cuomo and legislators to the promises they have made to progressives. And I don’t think we know the answer to that one yet.
In order to stay on the ballot, the Working Families Party needs to win 50,000 votes for Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday. The more votes progressives cast for Gov. Cuomo on the WFP line, the stronger position WFP will be in come November 5th. And that is when the real work begins — when we all need to come together to fight for higher wages for workers, campaign finance reform to change Albany, full funding of our schools, and so much more.
These are the types of fights that WFP has fought and won before. I should know — I saw it personally. We won paid sick days in NYC, a millionaires’ tax statewide, and other policies that have made tangible, real differences in millions of people’s lives. WFP’s work is critical, and we need them to be as strong as possible.
On November 5th, it seems to me that progressives will wake up to one of two worlds: one with a strong WFP holding the governor accountable day in and day out, or one with a weak WFP where corporations and billionaires have even more power in Albany than they do now. For me, the choice between those two scenarios is clear.
I’ll be voting for Gov. Cuomo on the WFP line on Tuesday. Click here to join me.