Democrats also practice election shenanigans

I recently wrote about how a socialist India Walton won the Democratic primary to be the party’s nominee to be mayor of the city of Buffalo and, since the city is overwhelmingly Democratic, would almost certainly be elected mayor at the general election in November. So how did the party establishment that had opposed her react? Not well. They are now trying to eliminate the position of mayor.

The Buffalo Common Council, the all-Democratic legislative body for that city in western New York State, has voted to “explore” the possibility of eliminating the city’s office of mayor. This comes less than two months after socialist candidate India Walton won a stunning primary upset over the incumbent Democratic mayor. Although members of the council have not specifically described the move as a way to prevent Walton from becoming mayor, the timing is noteworthy.

On June 23, Walton, a union organizer and activist, defeated four-term Mayor Byron Brown, the former chair of the New York Democratic Party and a longtime ally of outgoing Gov. Andrew Cuomo. In fact, Walton will be the only candidate on the ballot in November — Republicans have not won a mayoral race in Buffalo since the 1960s, and didn’t even field a candidate this year. Walton appeared set to become the first self-identified socialist mayor of a major city in 60 years, at least until Brown launched a write-in campaign that may receive millions of dollars in support from developers. Now the city’s lawmakers are considering abolishing the mayor’s position entirely.

Buffalo lawmakers voted last month to study replacing the city’s mayor with a city manager who would be selected by the nine-member council. Councilmember Rasheed Wyatt, who proposed the change, said the city manager would “carry out the will of the Council members.” 

But Wyatt’s move could also serve to kneecap Walton, a self-described democratic socialist endorsed by the Working Families Party who spoke about her experience as a working-class teenage mother during a campaign focused on addressing poverty and racial inequities. Walton has called for expanding food access and affordable housing, investing in vulnerable communities, cracking down on polluters, investing in street improvements and overhauling the city’s police department.

“The Common Council’s recent inquiries confirm what we already knew: those committed to preserving the status quo would fight hard against the interests of working class Buffalonians,” Walton said on Twitter. “But we will overcome & build a Buffalo with dignity for all. Together.”

There has been a lot of attention on how Republicans are trying to disenfranchise poor and minority voters in their efforts to hold on to power. But they are not the only ones who can stoop low in their desire to hold on to power.

The fundamental conflict in US politics is a class conflict. The fight between the two major parties has a veneer of class divisions but fundamentally both party establishments represent the ruling class.


  1. Matt G says

    The difference is that repubs try to disenfranchise the dems, while dems try to disenfranchise the dems. Oh wait, that’s the same thing….

  2. flex says

    @Matt G,

    The difference is that repubs try to disenfranchise the dems, while dems try to disenfranchise the dems. Oh wait, that’s the same thing….

    Well, there’s no sense in trying to disenfranchise republicans. Republicans are well known to vote against their own interest and for the oligarchy. They honestly believe they will be beautiful, well-respected, and rich someday. That day is just around the next corner….

  3. consciousness razor says

    In related news, Tom Price, the chair of the Iowa Democratic Party during the 2020 Iowa caucuses/clusterfucks who had to resign shortly thereafter, was recently named as the new executive director of the New Hampshire Democratic party.

    For those who may not know, NH state law says it must be the first primary every time, following Iowa. (Why the rest of us should be subject to NH state law, I have no fucking clue.)

    Price confirmed the news in a text message but declined to be interviewed.

    A news release from the New Hampshire Democratic Party said Price was unanimously selected by the party’s search committee and confirmed by its executive committee. The release included quotes from several prominent New Hampshire Democrats praising Price and other members of the leadership team.

    The article didn’t explicitly mention any champagne popping to accompany all the masturbatory narcissism, but it seems like a pretty safe bet for idiots like that.

    I guess I don’t even know how to compare Iowa to their ridiculous handling of a bunch of other primaries while the pandemic was sweeping across the country. That was … something.

  4. Who Cares says

    The difference between the two parties can be described as follows:
    The Republicans want to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs to get more money/power/whatever now.
    The Democrats are merely starving it to within an inch of its life recognizing that the goose needs to be nominally alive to lay eggs.

  5. lanir says

    I’m always slightly confused by these sorts of maneuvers. When a politician, any politician, tells you something to the effect of “Screw you! I don’t need you, I don’t respect you, and I don’t care what you think!”, the solution seems really obvious. They’ve already written your reply for you: “Screw you! I don’t need you, I don’t respect you, and I don’t care what you think!”

    I suppose if you were feeling kind you could also add “Good luck on your next job because it definitely isn’t going to be in politics,” but that’s optional. And probably the only meaningful decision to be made about the whole mess.

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