For the past several months, the Democratic primary in New York’s 10th congressional district has been mostly devoid of political attacks, negative candidates and ad campaigns funded by black money. But with little time to spare before primary day, the candidates — and the organizations that support them — are becoming less shy about calling the competition.
To a joint press conference On Friday, candidates Carlina Rivera, a member of the New York City Council and Liz Holtzman, a former congresswoman, said access to abortion was on the ballot and urged voters in the districts of Brooklyn and Manhattan to support one of the candidates in the race. . “We know that not everyone in this race has made it a priority,” Rivera said. “In particular, I will name Dan Goldman, who changed his position on abortion four times in three weeks.”
Anyone’s race – but Goldman is a target
Though political watchers still call it a tight and hard-to-predict race — thanks in part to unpredictable voter turnout in that late August primary — Goldman has undoubtedly captured an inside track in the final week of campaigning. Heir to Levi Strauss and the Democrats’ advocate for then-President Donald Trump’s first impeachment, Goldman has won all-important New York Times editorial board approval and is at the forefront of fundraising, after donating $4 million to his own campaign. (Although Hudson Valley Rep. Mondaire Jones, who moved to Brooklyn to run in the 10th District, is a long way behind. The others are millions behind.) Goldman as recently won the approval Hasidic leaders in the neighborhood, which includes a section of Brooklyn’s Borough Park, where there is a large Orthodox Jewish community.
Although there were few public polls in the race, a Pix11/Emerson College/The Hill Poll conducted Aug. 10-13 — before The Times endorsement — showed Goldman 22% support among 500 Democratic voters polled. Behind Goldman at 17% was Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou, who is running with the support of the Working Families Party and local progressive elected officials. Following Niou was Rivera at 13%, who is running with a range of support from local elected officials, political clubs and labor groups, and Jones also at 13%. Although Jones did not get many local mentions, the editorial board of The Times mentioned it next Goldman as the star in the race.
“I think it’s best to say Dan Goldman is in pole position right now,” said Lupe Todd-Medina, a political consultant who doesn’t work with any of the race’s campaigns, when asked if Goldman was the candidate to beat. In the race. “But this race, given that it’s an open seat and it’s a newly defined district, is anyone’s guess.”
Since Goldman’s endorsement by The Times on Saturday, the nominee has drawn the ire of competitors – including Rivera, Holtzman, Jones, Niou and Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon. This has included criticism of his largely self-funded campaign, his more moderate positions on issues like Medicare for All, and — despite his obvious setback — his endorsement of Trump.
Rivera and Holtzman’s Friday presser drew particular attention to Goldman’s previous comments on reproductive rights. In a July interview with Hamodia, Goldman said he wouldn’t oppose a state law banning abortion after a fetus is viable, as long as the mother’s health isn’t in jeopardy and it doesn’t was not a case of rape or incest. Hamodia reported that he then spoke to an aide and returned this response, saying his “personal views on termination of pregnancy are secondary to a woman’s right to take her own the decision regarding a pregnancy”.
Following Rivera and Holtzman’s call for voters to support a candidate who “will fight like hell” for women’s reproductive freedoms, Goldman said at his own press conference that his views on abortion have been twisted by his opponents. “I have been unequivocally clear that a woman has a 100% right to choose, and that the decision to have an abortion should be solely between a woman and her doctor, and that the government should have no intervention,” he said. Goldman’s campaign too sent a letter to voters last week, apparently trying to clear up the confusion. It said, in large print: “100% Pro-Choice. Still.”
Despite Friday’s joint presser, the candidates have so far shown no signs of taking “anyone but Goldman” ground until they drop out to regroup behind a single contender. Holtzman and Rivera congratulated each other on Friday, but neither gave up or offered any real endorsement of the other. Earlier this week, Niou and Jones held a joint press conference to criticize Goldman’s self-funding, with Jones calling Goldman a “conservative Democrat”. Yet neither of them gave up.
Seven days after early voting begins and four days before primary day on Aug. 23, there is no obvious path for the candidates to merge without giving up and ordering their supporters to vote for an alternative choice.
“It’s not a ranked choice,” said Chris Coffey, CEO of Tusk Strategies. “The only way it would work is if Mondaire Jones said, ‘For the sake of the progressive movement, I’m going to get out of the race, I’m going to support candidate X,'” Coffey said, offering an example. . “If the progressives united, even a little, behind Yuh-Line or Carlina – or Mondaire, I guess – it could have an impact.” It may be late for that to happen, he said. (Coffey does not work with any of the candidates but has donated to Rivera and Simon.)
Still, Coffey and Todd-Medina said Rivera and Niou had the potential to pick up a win, thanks in part to their ground game in the final week of campaigning and unpredictable turnout in the late August election. Wealthier liberal neighborhoods likely to support Goldman — including Brownstone Brooklyn — are also neighborhoods whose residents tend to decamp for summer homes this time of year, Coffey said. Niou’s support from the Working Families Party and Rivera’s support from a number of political clubs and local leaders in Brooklyn and Queens are expected to bolster their efforts to get out the vote in the final days of the campaign.
Outside expenses could be a factor
As candidates spend their campaign coffers, super PACs are also getting involved, with nearly $1.1 million in outside spending reported so far, most in the past few days. The biggest beneficiary is Rivera, who is supported by a $500,000 television and digital advertising buy from Nuestro PAC, which aims to engage Latino Democrats. Chuck Rocha, a senior PAC adviser, did not respond to a request for comment on the source of the funding, although previous funding has mainly been from small local donors, as well as larger contributions from trades unions. construction.
A black money super PAC who has not disclosed its donors is also in the running, spending $225,000 on direct mail and digital ads attacking Niou directly on his record, and even his personal finances. A sender of the new organization “New York Progressive, Inc.” blames Niou join a lawsuit to block the affordable housing development project in Nolita, and also cites protesters who called her a “fake progressive” not to do more to protect workers’ rights. another sender super secret PAC placed Niou’s face on a fake search panel,” accusing him of tax evasion. Government records show New York State placed a $3,047 tax warrant on Niou on Nov. 30, 2017, while she was in the Assembly. Niou paid the amount within a few months on February 7, 2018. Niou’s unpaid taxes were apparently not reported before, but the campaign confirmed the facts.
“This real estate black money PAC has taken a situation that many students face – the confusion over how to classify scholarship allowances on tax returns – and spins a fantasy about tax evasion,” Niou campaign spokesman Max Burns wrote in a statement provided to City & State. “In reality, Yuh-Line paid the $700 tax on her allowance as well as the late fee as soon as she was contacted about it. It’s disappointing how some people will stoop to protect the interests of big developers. Burns added that Niou is under attack “because she has spent her career holding these big financial interests accountable to the people”, and called the shippers a “disgusting smear campaign”.
Biography of Niou states that she earned a master’s degree in public administration from Baruch College, Manhattan. Niou has already spoken of his financial difficulties when run for officeand even said in a deposition from January 2018 that “with my statutory salary, I can’t afford to be a member of a gym,” and that she couldn’t afford a medical expense not covered by her health insurance.
Burns assumed that the super PAC was financed by real estate, but it is unclear who is financing it. New York Progressive will not have to file contribution information until mid-October, per Federal Election Commission regulations. However, the consultant behind the super PAC, Jeff Leb, has been active with other independent spending groups in both the 2021 New York election and the June 2022 Assembly primary. normally pitted against progressive candidates in favor of moderate Democratic opponents and were largely funded by big real estate interests.
Although Niou was targeted, she also benefited from outside spending in this election. A super PAC affiliated with the Working Families Party, which supported her, reported spend $150,000 on digital advertisements on its behalf. Other spenders include Opportunity NY, which spent over $117,000 on cable TV commercials supporting Jones and 1199 SEIU, which spent $50,000 on digital ads supporting Rivera, which the union approved.
A notable super PAC has not passed in the 10th. Many observers have been waiting to see if Protect Our Future will spend big to help Rivera, but no spending has been reported on his behalf so far. This group, funded by cryptocurrency billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, is intended to help candidates who take pandemic preparedness seriously, and an affiliated nonprofit has endorsed Rivera.