Tuesday, August 16, 2016

WFP Endorses Clinton

Thanks to Richard Winger of Ballot Access News for this post.

On August 16, the National Working Families Party (WFP) announced that its members had voted to endorse Hillary Clinton for President.

She won 68% of the vote. Most who did not support her chose “no endorsement”.

Secretary Clinton policies during this campaign on many issues that are deeply important to the lives and fortunes of the middle-class, working-class and poor:

- Public Financing of Elections and Voting Rights. Clinton calls not just for tossing Citizens United but also for the creation of publicly financed elections. Not just restoration of the Voting Rights Act, but also automatic voter registration. There’s no chance of saving our democracy without these reforms.

- Tuition-Free Higher Education. Clinton has adopted the bulk of Sanders’ free college proposal, and that’s something to be enthusiastic about. This will surely be a huge fight for the next two years.

- Jobs and Infrastructure. Clinton has called for enormous (and overdue) investment in public spending on clean energy and infrastructure. Trump favors tax cuts for the rich and the fraud known as trickle down.

- Mass Incarceration. Clinton calls for ending private prisons. For alternatives to incarceration, mostly drug treatment. For reducing mandatory minimums.

The endorsement process is separate from the nomination process, and each State WFP that is on the ballot will decide whether to nominate her. In the past, the only State unit of the WFP that has nominated anyone for President is the New York WFP.

It is possible that the WFP of Oregon and South Carolina will put Hillary Clinton on the ballot as their nominee. The Connecticut WFP will not, because that would have meant gathering 7,500 valid signatures, which the party did not attempt.

“We were pretty enthusiastic for Bernie; he told the truth, and we liked it,” said Dan Cantor, the National Director of the WFP, referring to Clinton’s Primary rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. “We’re now shifting, obviously. There’s a pretty important election coming up. There’s overwhelming support for Clinton. And we’re going to continue the political revolution in every district we can.”

The WFP, founded in New York in 1998, has grown into an independent political force with chapters in 12 states, advocating for progressive policy goals like a $15 minimum wage and pushing to elect its allies in Primaries. Most of its gains have come in State Legislative and Municipal races, but in December 2015, 87% of its membership and most of its Board, composed of two members from each State and some additional leaders, voted overwhelmingly to back Sanders for President.

According to Cantor, 60% of members were needed to make the move to Clinton, and 68% did so. Most of the holdouts preferred that the WFP make no endorsement. A few members wanted the WFP to get behind the Green Party.

“We’re all about building progressive infrastructure,” Cantor said. “You don’t do that by running another progressive candidate when there’s so much on the line.”

The WFP’s decision comes after some of Sanders’ most prominent endorsers got behind Clinton. The Communications Workers of America, the largest pro-Sanders union, endorsed Clinton. MoveOn, which backed Sanders in January, said after the final Primaries that Clinton was the Democratic nominee and deserved progressive support.

In current polling, Clinton claims support from more than 90% of self-identified Democrats. She does slightly worse among Sanders supporters, many of whom identified as independents.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
Digg! StumbleUpon

No comments: