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New York governor candidate runs on anti-corruption platform

Zephyr Teachout, courtesy of Demos Equal Say, Equal Chance via YouTube A Fordham Law School professor who wants to be New York’s governor believes she can clean up the corruption that plagues the state.

Zephyr Teachout lost a bid last month for the Working Families Party ballot, so she’s now handing out petitions to run as a Democrat. She needs 15,000 signatures from registered party members to get on the ballot, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

Teachout published a book in 2010 about corruption in American politics and has another one due out this fall. She’s been fighting against what she calls the entrenched financial interests that have entangled current Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Teachout co-founded a group advocating the breakup of big banks and was director of online organizing for Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign.

Her running mate, Columbia Law professor Tim Wu, is credited with coining the term “net neutrality,” and has said there is “an unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics. … We have a political system designed to be inaccessible.”

People compare Teachout’s campaign to that of current New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. He ran last year on a platform that depicted New York City as two cities — one for the poor and one for the rich.

De Blasio has pledged his support for Cuomo’s reelection.

The road ahead won’t be easy for Teachout, an academic with no experience in elected office. And Cuomo has a $33 million reelection war chest

Still, Teachout’s news conference in Albany on Monday attracted a sizable crowd of political reporters. They who pressed her on whether the six years she’s lived in New York is long enough to run it.

“I may not be Hillary Clinton, but there’s a long tradition of New Yorkers who have spent less time in the state than I have running and winning,” she said, referring to the former secretary of state’s successful bid for the U.S. Senate.


Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of FCPA Blog and can be reached here.

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