Two Strikes On Democrats
The divided result of the special elections in the 23rd A.D. and the 9th C.D is really a defeat for the Democratic leadership. In past years Chuck Schumer was elected to Congress after a contested primary against incumbent Congressman Steve Solarz. When Schumer ran for the Senate, Anthony Weiner came in first in a very competitive race against three experienced Democratic legislators.
This year Democratic leaders, with the apparent cooperation of the Governor, timed a special election to avoid giving registered Democrats an opportunity to meet, question and educate the candidates on local issues. The primary process is a strength, not a weakness.
However well intentioned, David Weprin has difficulty transmitting the urgency of maintaining and improving federal programs on health care, the environment, progressive taxation and consumer protection to the majority of voters. We recall that David Weprin finished last among four candidates in the Democratic primary for Comptroller in 2009.
Philip Goldfeder has been an intelligent and diligent candidate who tried hard to connect with all segments of our varied community. He received strong support from local elected Democrats and unions which traditionally support Democrats.
However, among Phil’s core group of supporters there are many who show little interest in achieving Democratic goals of full employment, national health care, protection of the environment or taxation based on the ability to pay. There was so little interest in the campaign of David Weprin for Congress that Goldfeder volunteer poll watchers were not asked to collect results of the race for Congress when the polls closed.
Democratic Party policies going back as far as the New Deal of the 1930’s are under attack as never before. Local Democrats will be unable to advocate for better health care or even continuing inadequate payments to local community hospitals under the budget almost all Republicans are supporting. We will not get better transportation when funds for mass transit are frozen. Local politicians will be unable to protect our shores from liquefied natural gas facilities if environmental laws are ignored.
Those who have joined the political process need to consider which side are we on.