October 06, 2010

UPDATE - NYSUT holds off decision in governor’s race; rejects many incumbents

Source: NYSUT Media Relations

See endorsement list, elected official lookup and polling place locator tools below media release. (Updated to reflect endorsements made at the 9/24 Board Meeting)

ALBANY, N.Y. August 12, 2010 — New York State United Teachers today said it is taking no position at this time in the governor’s race and would revisit whether to issue a gubernatorial endorsement at a later date. 

The 600,000-member union also deferred making an endorsement in the attorney general’s race until later, and withdrew its longstanding support for a number of incumbent state senators and Assembly members, saying they have abandoned their long-time commitment to supporting public education and protecting the rights and benefits earned by public sector workers.

NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi said the union’s political action committees and Board of Directors decided to wait and gather more detailed information regarding the gubernatorial candidates’ platforms and priorities for the state’s public schools, community colleges and higher education institutions.

“Andrew Cuomo has historically been a supporter of education funding and organized labor while advancing a strong social justice agenda,” Iannuzzi said. “Lately, his positions on property tax caps and statements about public employees have raised a lot of concerns among NYSUT members. We want to hear more and learn more before deciding whether to take a position in the governor’s race.”

“Some in the Legislature have — through their votes, public statements or failure to stand up and defend long-held positions they know to be correct — have not earned NYSUT’s continued endorsement or, at least, have not earned that endorsement at this time,” he added. “Still, we are pleased to be throwing our support behind many, from both parties, who clearly understand the importance of investing in our public schools and colleges and maintaining a strong middle class of public sector workers.”

NYSUT enthusiastically endorsed U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, members of Congress and Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, who Iannuzzi called a “dedicated and experienced public servant who has expertly managed the state’s pension funds during tumultuous economic times, while clearly demonstrating an understanding of the concerns facing retirees and all New Yorkers.” The list of all NYSUT-endorsed candidates is attached.

NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta said that this year, in response to unprecedented attacks on public employees and their unions, NYSUT recalibrated its endorsement rubric to consider not only candidates’ voting records, but their advocacy – or lack of advocacy – on those issues important to NYSUT members.

In the state Senate, for example, Pallotta said the union considered lawmakers’ statements on a number of issues, and votes on one-house bills that would have lifted the charter school cap without needed reforms, as well as a vote on a destructive property tax cap.

“Senators cannot hide behind the explanation that a wrong vote was on a ‘one-house bill’ and is therefore acceptable. It isn’t.” Pallotta said. “Those who choose political expediency over New York’s children and public schools – to favor charter schools without the necessary reforms or gimmicks that offer only the illusion of tax relief over a real reduction in property taxes for over-burdened homeowners — start out with two strikes against them.”

Pallotta said candidates for state and federal office covet a NYSUT endorsement. Not only does NYSUT make financial contributions from voluntary donations to help candidates defray the cost of campaigns, Pallotta said the union’s extensive phone bank operation — staffed by volunteer political activists — will make hundreds of thousands of calls between now and Election Day. NYSUT volunteers will also hand out campaign literature, attend rallies and lead a get-out-the-vote effort at the grassroots level, he added.

“In addition to financial support, NYSUT’s endorsement translates into thousands of volunteers out on the street,” he said. “NYSUT’s endorsement translates into support from the largest union phone-bank operation in the state. Our members work for – and vote for – candidates who support the issues they care about: quality public schools, colleges and hospitals and public pronouncements of respect for the hard work they do each day.”

NYSUT, the state’s largest union, represents some 600,000 classroom teachers and other school employees; faculty and other professionals at the state’s community colleges, State University of New York and City University of New York, and other education and health professionals. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and AFL-CIO.

This portion of the web site is paid for by Voice of Teachers for Education - Committee on Political Education  (VOTE/COPE), with voluntary contributions from union members and their families, and is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

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The following endorsement list reflects action taken at the September meeting of the NYSUT Board of Directors. The board withheld a NYSUT endorsement in the race for governor and lieutenant governor, as well as several seats in Congress, the state Assembly and Senate.


D - Democrat

R - Republican

I - Independence

L - Liberal

C - Conservative

WF - Working Families

G - Green


No Endorsement at this time

Lt. Governor

No Endorsement at this time


Thomas DiNapoli (D/WF)

Attorney General

Eric Schneiderman (D/I/WF) (Endorsement made at the 9/24 Board Meeting)

United States Senate

Party Name

D/I/WF Charles Schumer

D/I/WF Kirsten Gillibrand

House of Representatives
1D/I/WFTim Bishop
2D/I/WFSteve Israel
4D/WFCarolyn McCarthy
5D/I/WFGary Ackerman
6DGregory Meeks
7D/WFJoseph Crowley
8D/WFJerrold Nadler
9D/I/WFAnthony Weiner
10DEdolphus Towns
11D/WFYvette Clarke
12D/WFNydia Velazquez
13D/IMike McMahon
14D/WFCarolyn Maloney
15D/WFCharles Rangel
16D/WFJose E. Serrano
17D/WFEliot Engel
18D/I/WFNita Lowey
19D/WFJohn Hall
20D/I/WFScott Murphy
21D/I/WFPaul Tonko
22D/I/WFMaurice Hinchey
23D/WFBill Owens
24DMichael Arcuri
25D/WFDan Maffei
27D/WFBrian Higgins
28D/I/WFLouise Slaughter
29D/WFMatt Zeller (Endorsement made at the 9/24 Board Meeting)
New York State Senate
1R/I/CKenneth LaValle
5R/I/CCarl Marcellino (Endorsement made at the 9/24 Board Meeting)
10D/WFShirley Huntley
11D/WFTony Avella (Endorsement made at the 9/24 Board Meeting)
12D/WFMichael Gianaris
13D/WFJose Peralta
15D/IJoseph Addabbo
16D/I/WFToby Ann Stavisky
17DMartin Malave Dilan
18D/WFVelmanette Montgomery
19D/I/WFJohn Sampson
20D/WFEric Adams
21D/WFKevin Parker
23D/I/WFDiane Savino
24R/I/CAndrew Lanza
25D/WFDaniel Squadron
26D/WFLiz Krueger
28D/WFJose M. Serrano
29D/WFThomas Duane
30D/WFBill Perkins
31D/WFAdriano Espaillat
33D/WFGustavo Rivera
35D/I/WFAndrea Stewart-Cousins
36D/WFRuth Hassell-Thompson
37D/WFSuzi Oppenheimer
38D/WFDavid Carlucci (Endorsement made at the 9/24 Board Meeting)
40D/IMike Kaplowitz
43R/I/CRoy McDonald
46D/I/WFNeil Breslin
52R/I/CThomas Libous
55R/I/CJames Alesi
56R/I/CJoseph Robach
58D/CTimothy Kennedy 
60D/WFAntoine Thompson
62R/I/C/WFGeorge Maziarz (Endorsement made at the 9/24 Board Meeting)
New York State Assembly
A.D.Party Name
1D/I/WFMarc Alessi
2D/I/WFFred Thiele Jr.
3D/I/WFRob Calarco
4D/I/WFSteven Englebright
5DKen Mangan
6D/I/WFPhilip Ramos
8R/I/CPhilip Boyle
9R/I/CAndrew Raia
11D/I/WFRobert Sweeney
12R/I/C/WFJoseph Saladino
13D/I/WFCharles Lavine
16D/I/WFMichelle Schimel
17R/I/CTom McKevitt
18D/IEarlene Hooper
19R/I/CDavid McDonough
20D/I/WFHarvey Weisenberg
22D/WFGrace Meng
23D/I/WFAudrey Pheffer
24D/WFDavid Weprin
25D/WFRory Lancman
26D/IEd Braunstein
27D/INettie Mayersohn
28D/WFAndrew Hevesi
29D/WFWilliam Scarborough
30DMargaret Markey
31D/WFMichele Titus
32DVivian Cook
34D/WFMichael DenDekker
35D/WFJeffrion Aubry
36D/WFAravella Simotas
37D/WFCatherine Nolan
38D/I/C/WFMichael Miller
39D/WFFrancisco Moya
40DInez Barron
41D/WFHelene Weinstein
42DRhoda Jacobs
43D/WFKarim Camara
44DJames Brennan
45D/WFSteven Cymbrowitz
46D/I/WFAlec Brook-Krasny
47D/WFWilliam Colton
49D/I/WFPeter Abbate
50DJoseph Lentol
51D/WFFelix Ortiz
52D/WFJoan Millman
54D/WFDarryl Towns
55D/WFWilliam Boyland, Jr.
56DAnnette Robinson
57D/WFHakeem Jeffries
58D/WFNick Perry
59DAlan Maisel
60D/I/WFJanele Hyer-Spencer
61D/I/WFMatthew Titone
62R/I/CLouis Tobacco
63D/I/C/WFMichael Cusick
64D/WFSheldon Silver
65D/WFMicah Kellner
66D/WFDeborah Glick
67D/WFLinda Rosenthal
69DDaniel O’Donnell
70D/WFKeith Wright
71DHerman Farrell Jr.
72D/WFGuillermo Linares
74D/WFBrian Kavanagh
75D/WFRichard Gottfried
76D/WFPeter Rivera
77D/WFVanessa Gibson
78D/WFJose Rivera
79D/WFEric Stevenson
80D/WFNaomi Rivera
81D/WFJeffrey Dinowitz
82D/WFMichael Benedetto
83D/WFCarl Heastie
85DMarcus Crespo
86DNelson Castro (Endorsement made at the 9/24 Board Meeting)
87D/WFGary Pretlow
88D/I/WFAmy Paulin
91D/I/WFGeorge Latimer
92D/IThomas Abinanti
93D/C/WFMike Spano
94D/IKenneth Zebrowski
95D/I/WFEllen Jaffee
97R/I/CAnn Rabbitt
98D/CAileen Gunther
99D/WFBrendan Tully
101D/WFKevin Cahill
103R/I/CMarcus Molinaro
104D/I/WFJohn McEneny
106D/I/WFRonald Canestrari
107RClifford Crouch
108D/I/WFTim Gordon
109D/I/WFRobert Reilly
110R/I/CJames Tedisco
111DBill Magee
113R/ITeresa Sayward
114R/IJanet Duprey
116D/WFRoAnn Destito
117R/I/CMarc Butler
118D/WFAddie Russell
120D/WFWilliam Magnarelli
121D/WFAlbert Stirpe
124R/I/CWill Barclay
125D/WFBarbara Lifton
126D/WFDonna Lupardo
129R/I/CBrian Kolb
135D/I/WFDavid Koon
137DJames E. Hare
138WFFrancine DelMonte
140D/I/CRobin Schimminger
141D/WFCrystal Peoples
143D/I/C/WFDennis Gabryszak
144CJoseph Golombek
148R/I/CJames Hayes
149R/I/CJoseph Giglio
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