20 June 2011

Has Working Families declared actual independence in Cohoes NY?

In New York State's capital district, the Working Families Party is something of a laughingstock and the focus of an ongoing criminal scandal involving the two major parties' attempts to gain control of WFP ballot lines with proxy candidates and proxy votes. In such an environment, the announcement of a WFP endorsement for any local election may provoke skepticism. Nevertheless, a Working Families committee in Cohoes, Albany County, has endorsed -- not nominated -- Randy Koniowka for mayor. Koniowka, best known for blogging on Cohoes affairs for the Albany Times Union, was notified of the endorsement last week. No public announcement was made by the WFP, to my knowledge, prior to the report that appeared in today's Troy Record.

Should he accept the endorsement and run on the WFP line, Koniowka would challenge incumbent Democrat John McDonald alongside putative Republican candidate James Walsh. However, it may be in Mayor McDonald's power to block a Koniowka candidacy -- not through the law, but through persuasion. Koniowka has told reporter Danielle Sanzone that "he plans to meet with members of the current administration, mainly incumbent Mayor John McDonald, and discuss plans for the future....[I]f he did not completely agree with McDonald’s vision, ... he would likely make the run for office." This is the typical WFP strategy: confront a Democrat with the prospect of an independent challenge from his "left" in order to extract "progressive" promises that'll ensure the Democrat of the eventual WFP endorsement when their own candidate respectfully withdraws. But with an apparently successful and popular mayor angling for endorsements from those other alleged independents, the Conservative and Independence parties, and given the WFP's current reputation in the region, the party and Koniowka's bargaining position looks relatively weak. Koniowka says that "people are not happy with the current status quo" but admits that "I would much rather work with the current administration than against them." The implication of the report is that it'll be up to Mayor McDonald to shake up the status quo, since Koniowka will only take the initiative if he isn't satisfied with the incumbent's promises. If Koniowka's endorsement for mayor by the WFP is a declaration of independence, it's almost too tentative to be taken seriously for now.


TiradeFaction said...

Well, the WFP could take advantage of the "spoiler" tactic like the VPP (Vermont Progressive Party) up north, but this requires the WFP to have an organized muscle that would be able to act independent of the Democratic party at all times, rather than just when they don't like them.

Anonymous said...

I would have to guessthat what Koniowka is really angling for is a promise of a position within the administration. Anyone truly on the left these days should know better than to trust the "promises" of a member of the Democrat party.

It is in the best interest of both parties to maintain the status quo, as that is what put them in power in the first place. Neither side is really interested in keeping any "promises" they make to third-parties or independents as that might cause them to lose faith with their more "mainstream" constituents. ie, Democrats don't dare move much further left and Republicans don't dare move much further right.

MovinAds Marketing and Signs said...

The problem, as you all know, is money, or lack there of. John McDonald has nearly 30k in his campaign war chest, and could finance another 30k if he so chose. A young challenger like myself, could never come up with that kind of money in a small town such as Cohoes.

I never expected a position in the McDonald Administration. I just wanted him to understand that there were plenty of people in Cohoes who wanted to see some changes.

Sadly, in a one party town like Cohoes, you really need to make your move from the inside. A sad state on our political process, but a true one.

Rob Potter said...

The above comment was posted directly by Randy Koniowka and should not have been posted using MovinAds Marketing & Signs login. We have respectfully requested the comment to be removed by Randy as he does not represent the thoughts and opinions of MovinAds.