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Disappointing Loss in the NY Democratic Gubernatorial Primary

Peter Danaher, Staff Writer

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The New York Democratic Gubernatorial Primary took place on September 13th. These primaries take place in order to select the people who will represent the Democratic Party in the general election. The frontrunners in this race were Andrew Cuomo and Cynthia Nixon. Andrew Cuomo is the incumbent and he is seeking a third term. He has been governor of New York ever since 2011. Cynthia Nixon is an actress from the popular show, Sex and the City, who has a relatively new political career.

Cuomo ran on the many achievements he had as governor. Many of them were very progressive  policies like raising the minimum wage to $15 and providing paid family leave. Although this might seem like a great record, Andrew Cuomo has his downsides. His corruption is a great example. Andrew Cuomo gets a lot of campaign donations from large companies and wealthy individuals. Politico.com, an online news publication, states that, “the governor’s $31 million war chest remains heavily dependent on his largest contributors. All told, roughly 70 sources have given him more than $65,100 in his second term, thanks in large part to legal loopholes.” This might not appear like corruption right away, but it most certainly is. Politicians are dependent on campaign donations. They need money because it allows them to spread the word about their campaign and to get more people to vote for them. If a politician wants to keep getting campaign donations, they have to make sure to serve the people who are giving them the donations. In Cuomo’s case, he is receiving virtually all of his money from wealthy individuals; therefore he has to serve wealthy individuals. This is hard to see because it is a state position. In the federal government, it is a lot clearer. Politicians who receive campaign donations from the wealthy typically support tax cuts for the 1%, anti-union laws, and less regulations for large companies. In Andrew Cuomo’s case, he does not really support bad policies, but he does not get very many policies that are good for the average person passed. Some of Cynthia Nixon’s criticisms about Andrew Cuomo, according to ballotpedia.org, were, “his shortcomings on the New York subway system, affordable housing, and renewable energy.” He also does not support single-payer healthcare or the legalization of marijuana which are policies that are designed to help the average person.

Unlike Cuomo, Cynthia Nixon’s campaign funding did not come from large donations from wealthy individuals. Politico.com writes, “Nixon’s campaign reported receiving 2,214 contributions of less than $200, while Cuomo has received 1,369 small-dollar donations since the start of 2011.” This means that in one day of fundraising, Nixon received more small-dollar donations than Cuomo did in seven years. Since so much of Nixon’s funds come from individuals, she has to represent those individuals in order to keep those funds coming along. This is why she supports so many policies that will help the people of New York. Her campaign website, cynthiafornewyork.com, gives a list of the issues she is running on. These issues include: education reform, fixing the subway, single-payer healthcare, universal rent control, climate justice, and ending corruption.

Although the issues that Nixon was running on would have greatly helped the people of New York, she unfortunately lost. A big factor in this was the financial support or lack thereof. A disadvantage of taking a grassroots approach, like Cynthia Nixon did, is that it is much harder to get campaign funds due to the smaller donation sizes. It was much easier for Cuomo to raise his funds because he could get donations of thousands of dollars at a time. According to democratandchronicle.com, Nixon spent about $450,000 while Cuomo spent around $15 million. This allowed Cuomo to campaign much more effectively because he could afford much more. He spent most of the campaign money on ads. Cuomo also had a huge advantage of being the incumbent. People are much more likely to vote for him because they are familiar with his name and they do not know Cynthia Nixon very well. Although she lost, Nixon does not plan on giving up. She will likely run again and perhaps she will be able to win.

 

https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2018/07/19/cuomos-dozen-his-top-donors-and-their-six-figure-generosity-518533

https://ballotpedia.org/New_York_gubernatorial_election,_2018_(September_13_Democratic_primary)

https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2018/03/22/cynthia-nixon-boasts-of-small-donations-while-leaving-door-open-to-llcs-326767

https://cynthiafornewyork.com/issues/

https://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/politics/albany/2018/09/05/andrew-cuomo-campaign-spent-8-million-last-three-weeks/1201750002/

 

Peter Danaher, Staff Writer

Peter Danaher is 16 years old. He is a junior at Lindenhurst High School. This is his first year writing for The Charles Street Times. He joined because...

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