The Working Families Party shook the New York political world when it helped elect half a dozen new City Council members and two of three citywide officials in last year's city elections.
This year, the WFP could become extinct.
That's because the candidates it wants to support in this year's statewide elections aren't keen on accepting the party's endorsement. The WFP is under investigation by the U.S. Attorney's office for possibly skirting campaign spending rules in last year's elections. And if the WFP does not get at least 50,000 votes in the governor's race, it will lose its automatic place on the ballot, something that led to the destruction of the Liberal Party in 2002.
Like the Liberal Party, the Working Families Party is hoping to give its support to Andrew Cuomo, who is the well-funded and popular Democratic candidate for governor this year. But Cuomo has balked at taking the WFP's support, announcing he won't even attend its convention this week in Buffalo, citing the "ongoing investigation."
Also skipping the event are most, if not all, of the Democratic candidates for attorney general. Even the U.S. Senators the WFP is backing, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, are said to be no shows.
And with the prospect of having to plug a multi-billion dollar state budget next year, Cuomo is signaling he'll look to cut state spending, in education and health, which would likely lead to layoffs of unionized workers, the core of the WFP membership.