Kudos to the Conservative and Working Families parties for frustrating Gov. Cuomo’s bid to kill them off.
The gov engineered an out-of-the-blue rewrite of state election law, making it far harder for minor parties to earn an automatic line on ballots for the next four years.
Cuomo has resented the WFP since it dumped him in 2018 in favor of the far-left-leaning Cynthia Nixon. So he got the commission that was writing new campaign-finance rules to strike. For decades, minor parties had to pull 50,000 votes on their line in a gubernatorial election to qualify for the ballot for the following four years. Now their candidate must get 2 percent of the state’s total presidential vote or 130,000 votes, whichever is higher.
But both parties did it — getting votes on their lines for Donald Trump and Joe Biden, respectively.
The gov only killed the Serve America Movement Party, which didn’t field a presidential candidate — and on principle didn’t endorse a major-party one. (The SAMP is challenging Cuomo’s rules in federal court as a First Amendment violation.)
Now, we’re not remotely fans of the WFP, and we’re overall sick of the games minor parties play in local politics. But the right approach is to end cross-endorsements: Parties should run their own candidates, as the Greens and Libertarians do, and keep their ballot lines with the old 50,000-votes rule.
The current system encourages fake parties, and purely mercenary ones that exist mainly to sell their line to the highest bidder.
Cuomo plainly doesn’t have a problem with that: His gripe was merely that the WFP refused to “stay bought.”
You might have better luck with a principled reform, governor.