Friday, July 10, 2009

Meaning of the WFP Endorsement

According to Daily Politics, the WFP has thrown Bill Thompson a critical lifeline for his mayoral campign: "Comptroller Bill Thompson has landed the endorsement of the labor-backed Working Families Party - a significant victory for the Democratic mayoral hopeful's long-shot bid to unseat Mayor Bloomberg."

But this certainly wasn't easy by any means: "The WFP's coordinating council meeting lasted for more than two hours and was at times contentious. I'm told the vote was very close and turned on a few key unions, including the Teamsters (who have endorsed Bloomberg), RWDSU and PEF. Both sides had pushed very hard to get Row E. Team Bloomberg had hoped at the very least for a repeat of 2005 when the mayor blocked his Democratic opponent, Freddy Ferrer, from reaching the 2/3 threshold required for a full WFP endorsement."

Still, after leading the fight against the term limits extension-and given the mayor's haughtiness over his lavish spending-it would have been quite a sell out to see these folks do anything but endorse Thompson. That the fight was so contested speaks to, well, the power of the purse; and says less about Thompson than it does about the corrosive influence of the cash nexus.

We did get a tickle out of the comments from the Lead Vocalist of the Spinners, the falsetto-toned Howard Wolfson:"Today's outcome is hardly a surprise given that Bill Thompson ran on the WFP line in 2001 and 2005. What is a surprise is how hard Mr. Thompson had to work to get the line and how close the vote was. Hardly a show of strength for Mr. Thompson."

Perhaps not; but, as they say, a win is a win. And with this win, Thompson now has the resources and the energy of a very dedicated crew of folks to rely on. The hope here is that this will invigorate his laggard campaign effort since, in spite of all Bloomberg's spending, Thompson remains in striking distance; and Bloomberg is one major gaffe-or crisis-away from finding himself in a dog fight.