Civil war? Andrew Cuomo’s liberal primary opponent gets major endorsement

posted at 7:41 pm on September 3, 2014 by Noah Rothman

Civil war. Insurgency. Fratricide; just some of the terms the press will not use to describe what has become an all-out mutiny on the left as New York’s Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo seeks his party’s nomination for a second term as chief executive of the Empire State.

Last week, The New York Times editorial board expressed dissatisfaction with Cuomo’s style of governance and his inability to curb what they consider corporate America’s undue influence over New York’s politics. “The state remains as subservient to big money as ever,” the editorial board lamented.

While they declined to endorse Cuomo’s left-wing challenger, Fordham University associate professor Zephyr Teachout, they did welcome the “shakeup” her candidacy might have on the state’s gubernatorial primary race.

Teachout did receive the endorsement of some key liberal outlets like her state’s chapter of the National Organization for Women and The Nation magazine. On Wednesday, however, she received what may be the most important endorsement of her candidacy – a candidacy plagued by an inability to get the mainstream media’s attention. This week, Teachout and her running mate Tim Wu received a nod of support from actor Mark Ruffalo and all the media attention that came with it.

Teachout has been running a smart campaign from Cuomo’s left. The incumbent has steadfastly avoided giving her any exposure and refused her requests for debate. On Tuesday night, a scheduled showdown between Cuomo and Teachout broadcast on New York City’s NY1 network, but only Teachout showed up. In a performance guaranteed to not inspire the deluge of left-wing condescension Clint Eastwood sparked in 2012, Teachout spent the evening debating an empty chair.

The performance netted her a favorable write up in the city’s legacy liberal newspaper, The Village Voice:

Teachout ended up spending the better of 20 minutes attacking Cuomo and outlining her own vision for New York: banning fracking, funding public education, better transportation systems connecting upstate and the city, reforming the tax code to make wealthy New Yorkers pay more, and opposing any further expansion of casinos in the state. She also got in that Reagan jab.

“Can the Democratic Party return to its populist roots?” Salon’s Matt Stoller asked in July. “There is a hunger in the Democratic Party for making the party serve the interest of regular voters, not the rich.”

The potentially transformative message of the Teachout-Wu campaign is that the problem is not solely one of personalities or tactical political approaches. Rather it is that the New Democrat model itself, and the Democratic party establishment, is fundamentally at odds with the party’s traditional liberalism.

“There’s a desperate desire among Dem elites to pretend lockstep policy unity,” Stoller later wrote on Twitter. He unfavorably cited New York Times economist Paul Krugman and Vox.com analyst Matt Yglesias who both recently determined, as Krugman put it, “Democrats are remarkably unified on policy.”

This is a characteristically simplistic argument from Krugman which clearly papers over the dramatic schism within the Democratic coalition. Right now, only New York State’s Democratic Party is bifurcating, but the contagion of dissatisfaction with the Democratic establishment threatens to spread throughout the liberal grassroots. This seems like a major development in American politics similar to the 2008-2009 insurrection in the conservative movement which resulted in the complete reconstitution of the Republican Party. So why isn’t the press reporting on it?


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How do you get to the left of Cuomo…?

d1carter on September 3, 2014 at 7:44 PM

No upside.

Bmore on September 3, 2014 at 7:46 PM

This is a characteristically simplistic argument from Krugman which clearly papers over the dramatic schism within the Democratic coalition. Right now, only New York State’s Democratic Party is bifurcating, but the contagion of dissatisfaction with the Democratic establishment threatens to spread throughout the liberal grassroots. This seems like a major development in American politics similar to the 2008-2009 insurrection in the conservative movement which resulted in the complete reconstitution of the Republican Party. So why isn’t the press reporting on it?

You’re joking, right, Noah?

Bitter Clinger on September 3, 2014 at 7:46 PM

How do you get to the left of Cuomo…?

d1carter on September 3, 2014 at 7:44 PM

Batsh!t crazy left.

Bitter Clinger on September 3, 2014 at 7:47 PM

This isn’t a civil war…

This is an entrenchment of socialists in the Democrat Party.

Which will lead to a REAL civil war.

Skywise on September 3, 2014 at 7:47 PM

So why isn’t the press reporting on it?

Because the press does not report, it regurgitates WH talking points or makes up stuff.

31giddyup on September 3, 2014 at 7:48 PM

No upside.

Bmore on September 3, 2014 at 7:46 PM

I spend a lot of time working in upstate NY. While I don’t expect it, it would be great for Cuomo to lose in the primary. The GOP has a much better chance beating a lefty fruitcake like Teachout than Cuomo. I see a lot of unrest upstate over the SAFE Act (Cuomo’s gun control law).

Bitter Clinger on September 3, 2014 at 7:50 PM

Yeah, Mark Ruffalo. That will shake things up in NYS.

The primary is Tuesday. Get out the Teachout vote!

Dusty on September 3, 2014 at 7:52 PM

How do you get to the left of Cuomo…?

d1carter on September 3, 2014 at 7:44 PM

With a name like “Zephyr Teachout”? You’re kidding right? How could she be anything but? I did some work for a “Moondog” once. Guess what the house smelled of.

Judge_Dredd on September 3, 2014 at 7:52 PM

Bitter Clinger on September 3, 2014 at 7:50 PM

Then I will prefer a Cuomo loss. NY GOP you say? Okay. I’m being charitable. Narrow upside. ; )

Bmore on September 3, 2014 at 7:54 PM

To a certain extant the soft support for Corey Booker in New Jersey is caused by left wing disenchantment, with that both he and Cuomo should make it over the finish line.

rob verdi on September 3, 2014 at 7:54 PM

major endorsement … received a nod of support from actor Mark Ruffalo and all the media attention that came with it.

Uh, okay – flame on.

Pork-Chop on September 3, 2014 at 7:57 PM

This week, Teachout and her running mate Tim Wu received a nod of support from actor Mark Ruffalo and all the media attention that came with it.

Wow, one of the heavy hitters stepped up for the Zephyr, that’s major bigtime action alert news.

Wait…Mark who? Oh, that hulk guy from an Avenger movie.

He’s also a 9/11 Truther.

Yep, wow, quite the endorsement to impress batshiite-crazy libs.

Bishop on September 3, 2014 at 7:59 PM

Judge_Dredd on September 3, 2014 at 7:52 PM

Zephyr Rain Teachout – LOL.

Pork-Chop on September 3, 2014 at 7:59 PM

Meh. One leftist or another to “govern” New York. I honestly couldn’t give a crap if the primary is competitive. I don’t care who wins. I wouldn’t care if Al Gore won in an unexpected massive write-in campaign. They’re all the same, all Communists under a slightly different party label, and this state is too far gone to elect anything better.

Gingotts on September 3, 2014 at 8:02 PM

Zephyr Rain Teachout – LOL.

Pork-Chop on September 3, 2014 at 7:59 PM

I’m tempted to say get out you made that up.

Judge_Dredd on September 3, 2014 at 8:03 PM

Then I will prefer a Cuomo loss. NY GOP you say? Okay. I’m being charitable. Narrow upside. ; )

Bmore on September 3, 2014 at 7:54 PM

Point very well taken!!

;)

Bitter Clinger on September 3, 2014 at 8:05 PM

This seems like a major development in American politics similar to the 2008-2009 insurrection in the conservative movement which resulted in the complete reconstitution of the Republican Party. So why isn’t the press reporting on it?

Complete reconstitution? Noah, you simply gotta stop getting high before work.

307wolverine on September 3, 2014 at 8:08 PM

The New York Times editorial board expressed dissatisfaction with Cuomo’s style of governance and his inability to curb what they consider corporate America’s undue influence over New York’s politics. “The state remains as subservient to big money as ever,” the editorial board lamented.

Funny that it didn’t bother the NYT when the NYC government was pulling all kinds of shenanigans for the “big money” fat cats at the NYT when they built their new building a few years ago.

RJL on September 3, 2014 at 8:12 PM

I did some work for a “Moondog” once. Guess what the house smelled of.

Judge_Dredd on September 3, 2014 at 7:52 PM

Let me take SWAG at this. He was married to a gal name Gidget and they lived on the beach.

RickB on September 3, 2014 at 8:12 PM

Zephyr Teachout

Boy, that just screams Dirty Hippie don’t it????

BigWyo on September 3, 2014 at 8:13 PM

banning fracking, funding public education, better transportation systems connecting upstate and the city, reforming the tax code to make wealthy New Yorkers pay more,

Given that “the rich” already pay the majority of taxes in New York and New York City, if she gets into office; how soon before the mass exodus of “the rich”?

GarandFan on September 3, 2014 at 8:13 PM

So, lots of conservatives put out how much we like Cuomo.
Then more loons will vote for this kook lady.

Our guy has and easy deal.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on September 3, 2014 at 8:14 PM

Let me take SWAG at this. He was married to a gal name Gidget and they lived on the beach.

RickB on September 3, 2014 at 8:12 PM

Um no, he shared the house with two other… whatever the hell they were. But the best part? In the backyard was a busted microbus with flowers and Nader/LaDuke painted on it.

Judge_Dredd on September 3, 2014 at 8:14 PM

How do you get to the left of Cuomo…?

d1carter on September 3, 2014 at 7:44 PM

I guess that this quote doesn’t do either Chris Christie or Andrew Cuomo any favors:

“I’m not much different from Andrew Cuomo. I probably agree with him on 98% of the issues.”
– Chris Christie, Feb 2013

RJL on September 3, 2014 at 8:17 PM

NY is 2,499 miles away and I still don’t feel safe.

Maybe I can ask McCain to build a fence around it.

Oh, wait, he’s heading for the Ukraine. I’ll have to wait until he gets back..

wolly4321 on September 3, 2014 at 8:18 PM

How do you get to the left of Cuomo…?

d1carter on September 3, 2014 at 7:44 PM

Wait a year or so and Hot Air will be telling you that Teachout is conservative.

tetriskid on September 3, 2014 at 8:20 PM

I spend a lot of time working in upstate NY. While I don’t expect it, it would be great for Cuomo to lose in the primary. The GOP has a much better chance beating a lefty fruitcake like Teachout than Cuomo. I see a lot of unrest upstate over the SAFE Act (Cuomo’s gun control law).

Bitter Clinger on September 3, 2014 at 7:50 PM

A few years ago I’d have been right with you on this, but we’ve since proven that crazy can get elected. Not just Fauxcahontas either, though she’s the prime example. Astorino gets 37% against Cuomo or 45% against Zebra Rain Moonbat. One of his votes will be mine either way, but otherwise meh.

I’m near Syracuse, btw, and while indeed upstate and central NY aren’t pleased with the gun control nonsense, the outrage isn’t near what it should be.

Gingotts on September 3, 2014 at 8:21 PM

So why isn’t the press reporting on it?
========================================

Maybes the Dems don’t want to make too
many waves before the November Election
Political bloodbath!!

Or nots!!

canopfor on September 3, 2014 at 8:22 PM

I’m tempted to say get out you made that up.

Judge_Dredd on September 3, 2014 at 8:03 PM

Her parents beclowned her at birth.

Pork-Chop on September 3, 2014 at 8:26 PM

If Fordham associate professor Zephyr Teachout loses the primary, will she be out as a teacher? Look what the wind blew in…

This is unlikely to hurt Cuomo’s chances for re-election. There have been ads running all over the country (including as far away as Utah!) about New York State trying to attract businesses by creating “enterprise zones” with no state taxes for 10 years. I’m not sure that it’s true, but if Cuomo is posing as a business-friendly centrist, he’ll probably win more Independent voters than he will lose on his left.

Steve Z on September 3, 2014 at 8:39 PM

Hey, what’s not to love?

“My name is Zephyr (Rain) Teachout, and I am a constitutional law professor and organizer.”

Zephyr Rain Teachout is an antitrust and media expert who served as the Director of Internet Organizing for the 2004 Howard Dean presidential campaign.

Teachout is also an actress, and has acted at the Unadilla Theatre in East Calais, Vermont, for several summers over the last 20 years, beginning with roles in two Shakespeare plays, as Katherine in Love’s Labor’s Lost in 1994, and as Imogen in Cymbeline in 1995, both under the direction of Tom Blachly. Her most recent role was as Winnie in Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days in 2012, under the direction of Bill Blachly.

Pork-Chop on September 3, 2014 at 8:44 PM

So why isn’t the press reporting on it?

Because it’s happening to the dim party. Same reason why they are ignoring Cuomo’s scandals. If he had an R after his name, they would report on it as much as they did Bridgegate.

cat_owner on September 3, 2014 at 8:44 PM

Teachout is also an actress, and has acted at the Unadilla Theatre in East Calais, Vermont, for several summers over the last 20 years, beginning with roles in two Shakespeare plays, as Katherine in Love’s Labor’s Lost in 1994, and as Imogen in Cymbeline in 1995, both under the direction of Tom Blachly. Her most recent role was as Winnie in Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days in 2012, under the direction of Bill Blachly.

This ought to be interesting.

gracie on September 3, 2014 at 8:47 PM

Let me guess, her parents were hippies. Just the name probably attracted the academic establishment.

crankyoldlady on September 3, 2014 at 8:50 PM

I have to admit the quasi-Thatcher hairdo that Zephyr is sporting has a certain je ne soo…gen ne…je ne sais…oomph.

Bishop on September 3, 2014 at 8:52 PM

Zephyr Teachout?Her parents must have been tree huggers.This woman must have been born up in a Redwood tree in Humboldt Co. Calif literally.

jeffinsjvca on September 3, 2014 at 9:00 PM

If she raises taxes high enough maybe NYC businesses will move to Phili !!

KenInIL on September 3, 2014 at 9:01 PM

This ought to be interesting.

gracie on September 3, 2014 at 8:47 PM

You ever been to the Unadilla Theatre in East Calais, Vermont, it’s damn near like being at the Old Globe in London without the history, fame, ambiance, or success.

Take a look, it’s like you’ve been transported back to the days of Shakespeare:

http://www.wherezit.com/listing_show.php?lid=315142

Bishop on September 3, 2014 at 9:02 PM

Glenn Reynolds knows Teachout and says from a personal standpoint, she’s apparently a lot nicer than Andrew Cuomo.

However, all that means is given New York’s take-no-prisoners brand of special interest group/identity politics, is that she were elected, she’d be the Albany version of former NYC mayor John Lindsay — a naive progressive who’d be rolled by every union leader and self-appointed community activist in the state (which, from the other 49 states’ standpoint, would at least give Al Sharpton a reason to stay home more).

Cuomo at least stood up to de Blasio on his attempts to gut NYC’s charter schools. My guess is Teachout would be all-in with de Blasio and the UFT, and would turn the charter school battle into the equivalent of the Ocean Hill-Brownsville school row of 45 years ago (only in that case, it was Lindsay and the community activists against the UFT and Albert Shanker).

jon1979 on September 3, 2014 at 9:20 PM

Teachout is also an actress, and has acted at the Unadilla Theatre in East Calais, Vermont, for several summers over the last 20 years, beginning with roles in two Shakespeare plays, as Katherine in Love’s Labor’s Lost in 1994, and as Imogen in Cymbeline in 1995, both under the direction of Tom Blachly. Her most recent role was as Winnie in Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days in 2012, under the direction of Bill Blachly.

Really wondering who owns the theater.

BigWyo on September 3, 2014 at 9:25 PM

Take a look at that pic of Andrew…that’s who he really is,
he’s one angry Mother Effer.

ToddPA on September 3, 2014 at 10:18 PM

Cuomo or 45% against Zebra Rain Moonbat. One of his votes will be mine either way, but otherwise meh.

Gingotts on September 3, 2014 at 8:21 PM

LMAO!! That’s a keeper!!!

ToddPA on September 3, 2014 at 10:28 PM

It all does not matter one wit:

1. The NY Repubs are not serious about trying to defeat Cuomo

2. If a block of ice was on the ballot in the Democrat spot for Gov, the odds of it winning are about 10::1…partly because of the corrupt Repub part in NY, partly because 70% or so of the Dem voters are literally idiots

3. All this should tell Repubs one thing: The idea that the Repubs will somehow take the Senate this year has a very low probability.
Repubs still try to run on issues when over 50% voters vote based on emotion. Dems campaign to emotion and win…Repubs campaign on issues and lose

georgealbert on September 4, 2014 at 7:36 AM

Fordham University associate professor Zephyr Teachout,

Nothing screams hippie liberal than a name like that. LOL!

Patriot Vet on September 4, 2014 at 7:40 AM

The race for chief sewer engineer of New York is on!

Krupnikas on September 4, 2014 at 9:21 AM

Love how they both look like the liberal freaks they are in there side by side photos.

gwhh on September 4, 2014 at 9:37 AM