In New York, one person’s “fake” party can be another person’s “monumental victory.”
Former Council Speaker Christine Quinn celebrated the Women’s Equality Party likely gaining a spot on the ballot for the next four years, just a couple of days after her old allies at the Working Families Party slammed the effort as a cynical way to undermine their left-wing party.
“I am thrilled to celebrate this monumental victory for New York. The Women’s Equality Party has made history. I want to thank everyone who turned out to the polls and stood up to say that women’s issues are no longer other and that we will not compromise on equality,” Ms. Quinn said in a statement this morning.
“We are ready to continue the push to pass all ten points in the Women’s Equality Act and more. Women deserve equal rights including wage equality, stronger domestic violence protections, freedom of choice and an end to sexual assault on our campuses,” she added.
With Ms. Quinn’s help, Gov. Andrew Cuomo formed the WEP as he ran for re-election this year. Mr. Cuomo used the party as a way to spotlight women’s issues and underscore the socially liberal positions of his own campaign. Ms. Quinn was one of his loudest surrogates, blasting Mr. Cuomo’s Republican rival, Rob Astorino, for not supporting all ten points of the controversial Women’s Equality Act which would, among many other things, codify the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision into state law.
To critics, however, the WEP was little more than a front for Mr. Cuomo to continue his war with the labor-backed WFP. Some liberal Democrats openly criticized Mr. Cuomo for asking New Yorkers to cast their votes on the WEP line, which many observers predicted would come at the expense of the WFP, traditionally an outlet for left-leaning voters.
The WFP, who had reluctantly endorsed Mr. Cuomo, secured more than the 50,000 votes needed to remain on the ballot for the next four years. But the WEP also barely gained 50,000 votes and may have siphoned support from the WFP–the Green Party line netted more votes than the WFP, allowing them to appear higher on the ballot for the next four years.
“Governor Cuomo promised to take back the State Senate,” fumed WFP State Director Bill Lipton. “Instead, he squandered millions on a fake party, and left millions more in his campaign account as New York Democrats in the legislature and in Congress withered on the vine. But he couldn’t sink WFP and we’re not going anywhere, except back to Albany to fight for working families. Our party is needed now more than ever.”
The WEP will not officially become a party until the State Board of Elections certifies the election results.