Most progressives in New York are already aware that Governor Cuomo is being challenged in a primary to be held this September 9th. What they may not understand is the real possibility of "David" taking out "Goliath." How is this possible?
First, Cuomo is up to his neck in allegations of corruption. His office interfered with ethics inquires by the Moreland Commission which was set up to expose corruption in Albany.
Next, his primary opponent, Zepher Teachout, is an anti-corruption crusader. She wrote Corruption in America: From Benjamin Franklin’s Snuff Box to Citizens United. Many voters in New York are fed-up with the pay-to-play system of government in the United States and in New York. In an interview on August 9th, I suggested it is the book on corruption; she corrected, "it's a book on corruption." Modesty: it's a good thing, especially in a politician.
This sets up an historic upset in the making. Teachout's campaign manager, Mike Boland, explains that "Intensity Matters:"
Thin, unenthusiastic popular support doesn’t drive primary turnout; intensity does. The Governor has a big enthusiasm gap. Not only are his ardent supporters less ardent due to the rash of scandals, and to an agenda that is so often out of step with Democrats, but because conventional wisdom and the media suggest that the Governor is a sure thing, they probably don’t think it’s a really important election to vote in. In stark contrast, our supporters are on a mission to defeat this Governor -- teachers, public workers, anti-fracking activists - this is personal and serious and they are going to vote come hell or high water on Sept. 9. The best, simplest evidence is our large base of small donors. On one good day, we nearly beat the Governor’s year-to-date total of individual donors. He’s got a total of about 800 individual donors; we have nearly 3000 as of the writing of this memo.
Of course, there are other important reasons to support Teachout and dump the Governor. Teachout opposes hydrofracking of natural gas in New York. She would also work to raise the minimum wage in NY, roll back the tax cuts Cuomo supported for the top 1%, upgrade the Internet across the state and upgrade New York's aging infrastructure. She also said in the interview that she believes that corporate donations to candidates "should be banned."
Like all political campaigns, Teachout's needs money. You can donate to her effort to knock out "Goliath" here or here. It may be the best investment in New York State you can make and help send a shock wave across the state.