Challenging Cuomo, Zephyr Teachout Comes to Sag Harbor

Democratic gubernatorial primary hopeful Zephyr Teachout is coming to Sag Harbor on Sunday.
Democratic gubernatorial primary hopeful Zephyr Teachout is coming to Sag Harbor on Sunday.

Fordham University Law Professor Zephyr Teachout narrowly lost the Working Families Party line to Governor Andrew Cuomo earlier this year, and she’s been waging a primary campaign against the governor on the Democratic line since June.

She brings that campaign to the Sag Harbor studio of artist Julie Keyes at 12 Bay Street this Sunday, Aug. 24, from 3 to 5 p.m., where Ms. Keyes will host a meet-and-greet with the candidate. She will also be hosting a poster-making workshop and serving snacks.

Though Mr. Cuomo has been embroiled for the past month in a controversy regarding an anti-corruption commission he founded and then allegedly ordered not to investigate his own affairs, nearly half of voters polled in a Quinnipiac Poll released earlier this week didn’t know about the controversy.

One of the major players in that controversy is North Fork attorney Regina Calcaterra, who served as the executive director of the commission and allegedly was responsible for quelling investigations at the governor’s behest.

Fifty-one percent of those surveyed in the Quinnipiac Poll said they’d heard of the goings-on with the commission and 77 percent of those who knew about it said they considered it a political deal with legislators, but 56 percent of prospective voters polled said they’d vote for Mr. Cuomo anyway.

Eighty-eight percent said they didn’t know much about Ms. Teachout, who is facing off against Mr. Cuomo on primary day, Sept. 9.

Ms. Teachout has been quick to seize on the controversy, saying that “the system is rigged, and Andrew Cuomo is part of the broken system.”

Ms. Teachout was in charge of online organizing for former Vermont Governor Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign, one of the first presidential campaigns to take advantage of new media.

She was raised in Vermont, but has lived all over the country. She attended Yale and Duke universities, was a special education teacher’s assistant in a rural school, and founded a criminal defense firm in North Carolina that fought against the death penalty.

After working for Mr. Dean’s campaign, Ms. Teachout became known for her work as a critic of corruption, money in politics and the influence of Wall Street banks on the political process.

“We are running to lay out a bold vision and provide a real choice for voters,” she says on her website, http://www.teachoutwu.com. “New York can have an economy that works for all of us — not one which works only for the wealthy and well connected. We believe in a New York where wages are rising, small businesses are thriving and our public schools are the best in the nation.”

Her running mate, Columbia University law professor Tim Wu, is a critic of private economic power who first coined the term “net neutrality,” the principle that data on the internet should be treated equally regardless of its source.

“We are not Albany insiders, but we believe Governor Cuomo and Kathy Hochul can be beat, and must be challenged,” she added. “We will force Governor Cuomo to defend his record of deep education cuts, his tax cuts for banks and billionaires, his refusal to ban fracking and his failure to lead on the Dream Act. He has also failed to deliver on his core campaign promise from four years ago: cleaning up Albany.”

To RSVP for Sunday’s meet-and-greet, email mschab@aol.com or call 917.509.1688.

Beth Young

Beth Young has been covering the East End since the 1990s. In her spare time, she runs around the block, tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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