Reynolds: Home cooking and working campaigns

Working campaign

Post-primary grousing had mayoral candidate Hayes Clement supporters accusing the Working Families Party of pouring $40,000 into the Shayne Gallo campaign in the last month. Official campaign spending reports showed Clement with about $15,000 in contributions, Gallo with about $4,500.

“Absurd,” laughed WFP local coordinator Jennifer Fuentes. “We spent no more than $5,000, which is a lot for us. It was actually great if they valued our work at $40,000.”

The Working Families Party is generally considered an extension of organized labor, if not its tool. The party, with 94 enrollees in Kingston, usually supports pro-labor Democrats.


But why support Gallo, who has never held a public office? Fuentes, who is completing a term as Fifth Ward alderwoman, said party members were impressed by the broad support Gallo was able to generate among “working people.”

Conversely, she said the party regrets endorsing Mayor Jim Sottile in 2007, given his frequent battles with city labor unions. “He went so far off the reservation that we really had to make things right [by backing Gallo],” she said.

Gallo, an assistant city attorney, is a member of Sottile’s staff and an advisor on labor issues. Go figure.

Fuentes confirms, as the opposition suspected, that Kingston was being targeted by the party. “It isn’t often that we get a Democrat (Gallo) that we can really believe in and at the same time make a difference,” she said. “You might say we were flexing our muscles.”

Indeed. There’s no way to be precise about this, but it appeared Gallo was treading water, maybe 200 votes down a month before the Sept. 13 primary. A Working Families last-ditch push, which included door-to-door campaigning and phone banks, got the candidate to within half a dozen votes election night. Success has many fathers, failure none.

As a footnote, I’ve gotten some flak from the Clementines for calling Gallo’s the “best campaign” By that, I meant Gallo’s back-from-the-dead stretch run, detailed above, not his campaign tactics. In fact, Clement ran a positive, issue-oriented campaign while Gallo’s frequently devolved into class warfare and baseless innuendo. “Best” that wasn’t.

Watch out, Mo

With the New York congressional delegation losing two seats next year, the upset win by a conservative Republican in a heavily Democratic district in Brooklyn last week had to send chills through Maurice Hinchey’s 26th Congressional District.

There are 2 comments

  1. gerald berke

    “In fact, Clement ran a positive, issue-oriented campaign while Gallo’s frequently devolved into class warfare and baseless innuendo.”
    Is that what did it? …impressed by the broad support Gallo was able to generate among “working people”.
    Played the ol’ baseless innuendo card.
    Just what was it the “Working Families Party” liked about Gallo and didn’t like about Hayes? Ms. Fuentes doesn’t say. It would be nice if she would share that.

  2. nopolitics

    Here you are wrong Gerald(and Hughie Baby):this was nothing more than the ol’ Hetero v. Homo warfare, and the Heteros came out with 7 more votes than the Homos. Inasmuch as Catholicism still rules,this could be considered a victory of sorts for the Homos–after all, that was razor close, and this may mean victorious in the next similarly analogous such contest. Moreover, let’s be clear:Catholic higher education is considered BETTER than Duke University(or anything else such as Northwestern for example). Simple as that. As Traditionally Elitist Catholic as THAT. No Working Jerking Families stupidity cards needed for any other analysis.
    As for the Working-Jerking-Crybaby-Families Party, they are only and always concerned with supporting whoever they think the winner is GOING to be in any given race for the Democratic line, and they merely in my estimate guessed right in this instance. “Working Families” doesn’t play any card at all, unless you consider having a plant nursery in Woodstock that sells to NYC, a lawyering job with the city and a law office where my father used to have his, and a Psych. Nurse in the family “working”–which is of course a matter of Anal Catholic Elitist “relativity”(which I say at the risk of upsetting the spirit of Albert Einstein). And some thirty-one years after my father died, I am still lamenting the fact that memories are so short they only remember my Nazi mother and her anal politics over and above my father, who started it all and they all fail to pay homage to in memorializations(a tragic omission of their disgusting and tragic extantly overanal selves).

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