WFP response to NYP

Doug Henwood dhenwood at
Thu Mar 9 15:48:14 PST 2000

[from this week's New York Press letters column]


Andrey Slivka's account ("New York City," 2/23) of the Working Families Party and its recent event with Hillary Clinton was pretentious and insulting. As a young writer's attempt to show off how smug and cynical he is, it was a success, but that's about it.

Slivka made no serious attempt to understand the Working Families Party's agenda for the reform of the political landscape of New York state. He asked no questions of any WFP organizers, requested no documents and showed no curiosity about our actual work.

There were more than 500 people at the recent WFP gathering. About half were white, half people of color. About 40 percent were union members. This lively, diverse group was there because they support the core issues in the WFP's program: living wage laws, affordable health care, genuine campaign finance reform, investment in education and more.

When Slivka singles out "this elderly, black guy standing over here, yelling at Hillary to testify, pumping an occasional fist, this retired Transit man, or whatever he is," he betrays a contempt for the working-class people in New York, who, we are proud to say, are the bedrock of our party. Your readers deserve a more serious exploration of the WFP than this overheated rant. Sending us an e-mail at wfp at is one way to get that more thorough look at an unusual and interesting new political formation in the city and state.

Dan Cantor, executive director, Working Families Party, Brooklyn


Andrey Slivka replies:

The thesis of my piece was that the Working Families Party is shoving the corrupt, right-leaning, authoritarian harridan and corporate apologist Hillary Clinton down the throats of its vulnerable, gullible working-class constituency in a sleazy grab for power, and that this is a bad thing. A "left" organization works to elect a sold-out, pro-death penalty, pro-corporate, Drug War-supporting, human rights-violating, Iran- and Sudan-bombing, stock-cheating shyster and political hack whom leftists of integrity despise - and I'm the one who's cynical? Cantor's a week-too-late spin doctor for an organization that's pimped its members out in the street for a couple shekels each.

Cantor is correct, however, in calling my article "insulting."

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