CuoMONSTERino Raids Again…or Will He?

We at The People’s Press looked hard and long at the candidates running for governor this year. Yet again, there are only two real choices on the ballot: CuMONSTERino, the candidate(s) of the 1%, and Howie Hawkins, Green Party candidate. Here is how they compare.

CuoMONSTERino, candidate(s) of the 1%

Taxes for the wealthy: Gov. Andrew Cuomo gives tax breaks to the rich; Gubernatorial Candidate Rob Astorino doesn’t think it’s enough.

The Do Nothing Party System: Cuomo is beholden to the two party system; Astorino is beholden to the two party system.

Corruption: Cuomo is under federal investigation for tampering with an independent commission that looked too deeply into his campaign donors’ potentially illegal practices; Astorino talks incessantly about the fact that Cuomo is under federal investigation for tampering with an independent commission that looked too deeply into his campaign donors’ potentially illegal practices.

Campaign Finance Reform: Cuomo receives campaign contributions from big corporate donors and anonymous LLCs; Astorino receives campaign contributions from big corporate donors and anonymous LLCs (although much, much less).

Minimum Wage: Cuomo has done nothing to increase the minimum (although he technically supports an increase to $10.10, excluding tip workers); Astorino believes that there should be a minimum wage, maybe.

Environmental issues: Cuomo will not take a stand on fracking despite the incredible amount of evidence that fracking is bad for public health and for the economy; Astorino really likes fracking despite the incredible amount of evidence that it’s bad for public health and for the economy.

Economic Development: Cuomo thinks casinos are an economic development strategy for Upstate New York; Astorino isn’t against casinos, but because Cuomo came up with the idea first, criticizes Cuomo’s plan.

Worker’s Rights: Cuomo spent his first few years in office installing a new retirement bracket with less benefits for workers, and trampling on public employee unions including forcing a three year wage freeze;   Astorino had a fundraiser with anti-union champion Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, and proudly says he isn’t “anti-union.”

Education: Cuomo presided over the state while it cut over 12,000 K-12 teachers, thanks in large part debt reduction plan. He also endorsed SUNY 2020, a plan that makes higher education more expensive and subsidizes private companies with student fees; Astorino is using the outrage over Common Core implementation to make his campaign seem legitimate.

Criminal Process System reform: Cuomo does not support the decriminalization of marijuana (only very limited legalization of medical marijuana), even though he has often called for an “end to the war on drugs”; Astorino does not even support medical marijuana.

Healthcare: Cuomo does not support single payer health care; Astorino thinks any attempt by the government to insure citizens is authoritarianism, even when it’s designed to make billions for big insurance companies, like Obamacare.

Agriculture: Cuomo eats vegetables and appointed a task force to investigate agriculture in New York State; Astorino eats vegetables, maybe.

Howie Hawkins, U.P.S. worker and Candidate for Governor                                                        Howie Hawkins:

Minimum wage: Hawkins wants to raise the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour for all workers, and end the $1 billion in annual wage theft in New York State by properly staffing the New York State Department of Labor.

Campaign Finance reform: The Hawkins campaign does not accept corporate contributions.

Corruption: Hawkins wants to end the practice of elected offices drawing a non-governmental salary when in office, ending corporate personhood, and making all campaigns publicly funded.

Healthcare: The Hawkins platform calls for a publically funded, single payer health care system that covers all New Yorkers, regardless of income. Free at the time of delivery without co-pays!

Education: Hawkins is calling for re-funding schools, universal pre-K and Kindergarten, using affirmative action measures to end racial segregation in schools, and free tuition throughout the CUNY and SUNY system.

Economic Development: Hawkins’ platform calls for a moratorium on home foreclosures, universal broadband internet (not owned by private corporations like Time Warner), tax credits for renters, developing better mass transit across the state, and moving to clean energy by 2030.

Environment: Hawkins is against fracking, the transportation of explosive crude oil on New York rail lines, and nuclear power plant facilities.

Taxes: The Hawkins’ platform calls for an end to the $7 billion of corporate welfare New York State doles out annually, cutting sales tax, and moving to a progressive income tax system so that the 1% pay their fair share.

Agriculture: Hawkins believes the state needs to do more to support family farming in New York State. His plan calls for a guaranteed farm income, tax relief for farms, an end to corporate farming, collective bargaining (similar to farm unions) for farmers, and legalizing hemp production.

Criminal Process System Reform: Hawkins is advocating an end to solitary confinement, the legalization of marijuana, making employment more accessible to the formerly incarcerated by “Banning the box,” and restoring voting rights to all persons convicted of a felony.

Other Choices

Beside the Democratic and Republican candidates, each supporting one half of the entity we call “CuoMONSTERino,” and Green Party nominee Howie Hawkins, the only other name that will appear on the ballot for governor is Michael McDermott of the Libertarian Party.  John Studer of the Socialist Worker Party, however, is also running as a write in candidate.  Although the Rent is Too Damn High Party failed to make it on the ballot this time around, I don’t think Jimmy McMillian will mind you writing him in either.  We should also mention that the Democratic and Working Families Party primaries faced a challenge to Cuomo dominance, in the form of Zephyr Teachout and Randy Credico (Credico only ran in the Democratic primary against Cuomo).  

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