Good news, my fellow Kossacks: A new front has been opened in the battle against the power-hungry renegade Democrats who've made a mockery of democracy and handed control of New York's state Senate to the GOP—even though Democrats hold a majority of seats in the chamber. Even better news: This time, the playing field favors us. Former New York City Comptroller John Liu recently launched a challenge to Queens state Sen. Tony Avella, a member of the breakaway Independent Democratic Conference, and Daily Kos is proud to endorse him.
Liu is an outspoken progressive whose liberal bona fides are without question. He was heavily supported by the Working Families Party when he ran for comptroller in 2009, and he's set to pick up their endorsement again. He's also earned the backing of several unions, including the influential Hotel Trades Council.
The Queens Democratic Party has officially endorsed Liu as well, and they're hopping mad at Avella's betrayal:
"There was a fraud committed against people in that senatorial district," [Rep. Joe] Crowley said. "They believed they were electing a Democrat. If Mr. Avella wants to run as a Republican, that's his right to do that. He can do that in this election."Damn straight. Avella already had a reputation for being aloof and friendless, and his self-serving decision to abandon his party has only left him more alone. Avella may have been hoping that state Sen. Jeff Klein, the leader of the IDC junta and a prodigious fundraiser, would step in to save him, but that's unlikely now. Klein has to worry about his own primary challenge from former New York City Councilman Oliver Koppell, and Avella has a pitiful $3,000 in his campaign coffers. He's not in good shape.
Crowley said, "You can't get elected as a Democrat and then decide to switch parties."
Liu, meanwhile, is an incredibly energetic campaigner, and as the first Asian-American ever elected citywide, he also inspires tremendous fervor from his most loyal supporters in the Asian community. The only potential knock on Liu is that his treasurer and a fundraiser from his unsuccessful mayoral campaign last year were both convicted of campaign finance fraud, but Liu himself was never implicated.
Avella, by contrast, is undeniably guilty of betraying his party. Not only do we need to defeat him in order to help Democrats take back the state Senate, but we've got to send a message nationwide: If you're a Democrat who's even thinking about selling out your party to advance your own personal interests, you're going to pay the ultimate political price.