Friday, August 29, 2014

Zephyr Teachout in Ghent

Andrew Cuomo had indicated that he would make his decision about debating Zephyr Teachout by 7 p.m. yesterday, but at 7 p.m. yesterday, when Teachout walked into the Ghent Town Hall and was greeted by a standing room only crowd, there had been no word from the governor.

Teachout's visit to Ghent last evening was her seventh stop that day on a Whistleblower Tour of the state. "We are blowing the whistle on the corruption we see," Teachout explained. "They're calling the shots, and we're calling them out." Applause greeted her every utterance, until she pleaded good-naturedly, "Stop clapping, because I've got some talking to do."

Defining herself as a traditional Democrat, Teachout declared her support of public education, saying that Cuomo has "looted schools to pay for tax breaks for the wealthiest New Yorkers." She stated her commitment to maintaining and repairing the state's infrastructure, dissed using Clean Water Act funds to pay for the Tappan Zee Bridge, and spoke of "a public transit system we haven't imagined yet."

Applause erupted again when Teachout declared that, as governor, she would ban fracking in New York. "Our water is everything," she said and then quoted Franklin Roosevelt: "A nation that poisons its soil poisons itself." "FDR is my guy," Teachout explained. 

She called for "reinvesting in the public," objected to "contracting out basic public services," and asserted that "a society should be measured by how it treats its most vulnerable members."

"We are in a position to have the upset of the century," Teachout proclaimed, calling it "an uprising of people who want to make history." Recalling that, at the outset, her campaign had been considered impossible, she quoted part and paraphrased the rest of this quote from Mohammed Ali:
Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.
The Democratic primary for governor and lieutenant governor takes place on Tuesday, September 9. Polls are open from noon until 9 p.m.

Photo by Lee Jamison

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