Landlords Have a Party

Of course, there’s good reason for skepticism that any of the business efforts will attract any sort of competitive following. Aside from the poor showing in the primaries—real estate executives counter that it takes years to build a successful party, as it did for the Working Families Party—it would be easy to paint the Independence Party as a microphone for landlords and corporations.

And if it and the WFP are simply competing over who can have a more populist message, public benefits and a safety net have historically played better than a government-wary, anti-tax platform in New York, particularly in the city.

This is the view and hope of the WFP, which, for candidates it opposed, repeatedly highlighted campaign contributions from landlords, often a liability in Council races.

“This is an entertaining but somewhat odd strategic move,” said Dan Cantor, executive director of the Working Families Party, which helped put two candidates in citywide office this fall, along with numerous new council members.

“It’s obvious—voters just don’t buy what they’re selling. People are against tax cuts for the very wealthy,” Mr. Cantor added. “This crowd is against the [stronger] rent laws; they’re in favor of deep service cuts—that’s not a popular program.”

ebrown@observer.com