Expect a lot of heated campaign mailings over the next few weeks ahead of the April 19 special election for NY state assembly. A race expected to go to the Democrat now has two Democrats running — Alice Cancel on the Democratic line, and Yuh-Line Niou on the Working Families line backed by big unions like the United Federation of Teachers, SEIU-32BJ, and the Hotel Trades Council.
In her first mailing this weekend, Niou highlights an article in the New York Times that linked Cancel to Sheldon Silver and his chief of staff Judy Rapfogel (an East River cooperator), casting a shadow on the Democratic selection process. Niou backed out of that process at the last minute — just hours after herself meeting with Grand Street’s Truman Democratic Club — having already received the Working Families nomination that would guarantee her a spot on April’s ballot.
The mailer is intended to push Niou’s anti-corruption bona fides, stating: “Albany’s corruption does more than erode our trust — it hurts our families and undermines our schools and seniors, our tenants and taxpayers.” Niou takes a position in favor of stripping pensions from corrupt politicians, a good-government reform facing an uphill battle in Albany, and highlights Cancel’s priase of Silver, convicted in December on federal corruption charges, as a “hero.”
The mailer also includes an endorsement by John Liu, former NYC Comptroller, whose campaigns for Comptroller and Mayor were tainted by illegal fundraising practices. Which I guess I’m pointing out just to remind myself that integrity, like beauty, can be in the eye of the beholder.
Update Sunday: At an event today in East River Coop, Yuh-Line Niou described in more detail her decision to drop out of the Democratic convention last month. She said the meeting she had the morning of the convention was not with the Truman Club, but was a meet-and-greet scheduled weeks earlier with some Democratic committee members. Niou says she had decided three days before to exit the Democratic party process after she witnessed first-hand the trading of committee spots among candidates; in particular, the influence of Silver loyalists, in her opinion, would cast a shadow on whoever emerged as the party nominee.