Wikipedia: Working Families Party
The Working Families Party (WFP) is a minor political party in the United States founded in New York in 1998. The party also has chapters in Connecticut, South Carolina, and Oregon, and is working towards establishing itself in Massachusetts and California.
New York's Working Families Party was first organized in 1998 by a coalition of labor unions, ACORN and other community organizations, members of the now-inactive national New Party, and a variety of public interest groups. The party blends a culture of political organizing with unionism, 1960s idealism, and tactical pragmatism. The party's main issue concerns are jobs, health care, education and energy/environment, and it has won notable policy gains at the city, county and state level by piggybacking on Democratic or Republican candidates.
In the 1998 election for governor of New York, the party cross-endorsed the Democratic Party candidate, Peter Vallone. Because he received more than 50,000 votes on the WFP line, the party gained an automatic ballot line for the succeeding four years. In 2000, Patricia Eddington of the WFP was elected to the New York State Assembly. In the 2002 election, the Liberal Party, running Andrew Cuomo (who had withdrawn from the Democratic primary), and the Green Party, running academic Stanley Aronowitz, failed to reach that threshold and lost the ballot lines they had previously won. This left the WFP as the only left-progressive minor party with a ballot line. This situation will continue until at least 2011 following the party's cross-endorsement of Eliot Spitzer in the 2006 election, in which he received more than 155,000 votes on the Working Families Party line, more than three times the required 50,000. The Working Families Party endorsed Senator Barack Obama (D-Illinois) in the 2008 presidential election.
As of 2006, the executive director of the WFP is Dan Cantor. The party's Co-Chairs are Sam Williams, UAW Region 9 CAP director; Bertha Lewis, ACORN's executive director; and Bob Master of the Communications Workers of America. The WFP also has a powerful alliance with Dennis Rivera and Local 1199/SEIU (Service Employees International Union). The intensely activist union is known to contribute more than $100,000 a year of the party's $1.4 million annual budget.
5 May 1998, Times Union (Albany, NY), "Family issues push unions to form party" by Tracey Tully, pg. A1:
Labor groups think working people's needs have been lost in a morass of state politics
In an effort to force the concerns of working families to the forefront of the debate, members of some of the state's largest unions are leading a grass-roots campaign to create a new politicalparty.
If organizers are successful, the built-in political clout that comes from existing union membership is expected to make the upstart party a potent force in upcoming elections.
"What we're saying is: The boat needs to be rocked," said Robert Master, legislative and political director for the New York region of the Communications Workers of America, a 70,000-strong union at the helm of the push to start a new third party. "The hope is we can put together a new political organization in the state that will speak clearly on behalf of working New Yorkers."
Phil Rumore, president of the Buffalo Teachers Federation, a 4,000-member affiliate of the National Education Association, said potential names include the Working Families Party and Families Party.
26 June 1998, Associated Press Newswires, "Coalition of union leaders back Democrats in statewide races":
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Leaders of a coalition of union leaders pushing to create a new political party that would focus on working families have endorsed Democrats in three statewide races this fall.
The upstart Working Families Party, gave their backing to New York City Council Peter Vallone for governor; Manhattan State Sen. Catherine Abate for attorney general; and incumbent Comptroller H. Carl McCall.
Each candidate accepted the nomination, Robert Master, legislative and political director of the New York region of the Communications Workers of America, said Thursday. The 70,000-member union is heading the push to form the party.
"Our most important goal is to inject issues of importance to New York state's poor and working people more forcefully into the statewide political debate," Master said in today's edition of the Times-Union of Albany.
State Democratic Committee Chairwoman Judith Hope said she welcomes the Working Families Party as a subsititute for the Liberal Party, a third-party which usually aligned with hard-line Democrats.
6 July 1998, Associated Press Newswires, "Democrat Vallone accepts endorsement of new party":
NEW YORK (AP) - Democratic gubernatorial candidate Peter Vallone accepted the endorsement Monday of the newly formed Working Families Party, a coalition of unions that contend the Democratic Party has become too closely aligned with big business.
Vallone said he shared the new party's emphasis on working-class concerns, noting that independent third parties have played an important role in state politics.
New York Tenants Online/TenantNet
Tomorrow New York City residents go to the polls for the fourth time in eight weeks.
For us, the bottom line is: who will help tenants and neighborhoods on the issues we care about and hear about. You will be disappointed -- again this year the Democratic Party has outdone itself by fielding the most mediocre talent it can find. And underneath the Republican skin you won't see much difference. Even the Wrecking Families Party (that's not a typo) is proving
itself to be nothing other than warmed-over Democrats - for the most part having a line almost identical to the party of failed promises.
New York Observer - The Politicker
Working Familes Endorses
The Working Families Party is continuing to hedge at the top of the ticket, running one Kevin Finnegan as the party's Mayoral candidate.
But while they're holding out on the Mayor's race, they have endorsed Scott Stringer for Borough President, joining a number of labor groups that seem to be spending more time and energy on that race than on the Mayoral.
Posted by Ben 8/11/2005 11:30:00 AM
Bunch of crap. WFP has well-earned the name Wrecking Families party. They will sell-out to whomever pays them.
Anonymous | 08.11.05 - 2:26 pm |
New York City • Government/Law/Military/Religion /Health • Sunday, August 21, 2005 • Permalink