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Gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon says New York's "2

Gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon says New York's "2 percent cap on state spending is disastrous and what it means is we shrink the budget year after year."

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Daily Point

Measuring #TheCynthiaEffect

An online gathering of Working Families Party supporters of Cynthia Nixon’s gubernatorial candidacy drew just 46 participants on Sunday evening. The weekend timing might have suppressed interest, but even a guest appearance by progressive favorite Zephyr Teachout wasn’t enough to inspire bigger numbers. And how many of those 46 joining were news media and Cuomo oppo researchers?

Challenging Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo four years ago, Teachout earned an unexpected 34 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary, energized in part by teachers angry at Cuomo’s demands for accountability. On the conference call, Teachout praised WFP candidates Nixon and Jumaane Williams for already having had “an enormous, enormous impact” on Cuomo’s policies. Williams, a New York City councilman from Brooklyn, is running for lieutenant governor in the Democratic primary and has the WFP’s endorsement.

Teachout ticked off leftward steps by Cuomo, aka #TheCynthiaEffect, and heading her list was the effort by Cuomo to bring the breakaway Independent Democratic Conference back into the Democratic fold.

“Andrew Cuomo propped up — not propped up, but encouraged — the IDC,” Teachout said. “Now they’re caucusing with [Democratic Minority Leader] Andrea Stewart-Cousins for the last month of the legislative session.”

Other wins Teachout chalked up: Cuomo’s executive order to restore voting rights to parolees, the governor’s embrace of a statewide ban on plastic shopping bags, and his executive order to create an emergency manager to oversee long-overdue upgrades to public housing. Teachout also attempted to gin up enthusiasm for three issues that worked for her in 2014: poor subway service, and opposition to fracking and “high-stakes” public school testing.

“These issues haven’t gone anywhere,” Teachout declared. She was apparently ignoring Cuomo’s fracking ban in December 2014 and extensive efforts toward compromise on testing under State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. But, yes, subway service is no better than four years ago.

However, for the most part, Teachout and WFP host Nelini Stamp, the party’s national organizing director, offered no new ideas.

The WFP has said repeatedly it didn’t endorse Nixon as a spoiler or protest candidate. But it’s hard to keep making that argument when Cuomo continues to make the left’s issues his own.

Anne Michaud

Talking Point

A spell-casting Clinton?

Earlier this month, America’s most powerful witch came to New York City to speak to a Satanic Witches Coven. At least, that’s what various alt-right and conspiracy-theorizing bloggers and social media users said about Hillary Clinton’s visit to a Manhattan outlet of the Wing, a women-only co-working and community space.

The high-profile network of women’s spaces has often drawn headlines since launching in 2016. There is an ongoing investigation by the New York City Commission on Human Rights into possible violations of city human rights law, which protects against discrimination. But Clinton’s visit to the Wing, where membership costs $2,350 a year for single-location access, got a different corner of the internet going (capitalizing on the organization’s use of the self-description “coven” in its Web and social media copy).

Some Twitter users described Clinton as evil and the Wing as supportive of “Satanic Ritual.” Scroll down for the Illuminati.

Conspiracy-mongering blogs that elsewhere speculate about a Clinton “pedophile-cannibal” video note questionably that the date of her visit was the same as one conjectured to be that of Christ’s crucifixion.

Another blogger recapping the event writes that, “For decades it has been rumored that Hillary Clinton practiced witchcraft and was involved with various covens throughout the years.” In direct-messages via Twitter, the blogger, Yvonne Parkinson, told The Point that the piece was not intended to be satirical: “Do I think a coven casts spells? Lol surely this is rhetorical.”

Some obsessions die hard. Imagine if Clinton had won in 2016.

Mark Chiusano

Pencil Point

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Quick Points

Just don’t do it

  • Now that Cynthia Nixon is advocating for the elimination of the state property tax cap, it’s become clear her progressive agenda includes a progressive tax increase.
  • Republicans fearing a blue wave in the 2018 midterms have started asking President Donald Trump to be more disciplined. If them being calm depends on Trump being disciplined, it’s probably time to get very scared.
  • The treatment of women working at Nike, from pervasive harassment to being passed over for promotions, seems to be a twisted application of the company’s slogan: Just do it.
  • Some say President Donald Trump deserves credit for peace talks between North Korea and South Korea, some credit North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and some say credit goes to South Korea President Moon Jae-in. With all that credit being handed out, will there be any left when, you know, something real is accomplished?
  • President Donald Trump said Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester should resign for making allegedly false allegations against White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson. Trump has not applied the same logic to his own false allegations.
  • Can we agree, after Michelle Wolf’s performance Saturday night, that it’s time to end the White House Correspondents’ awards dinner, at least the part involving a stand-up comedy routine?
  • National security adviser John Bolton said the U.S. position of denuclearization in talks with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un is based on the model in negotiations with Libya in 2003-04. You remember that one; it eventually ended up with Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi dead.
  • The music group ABBA has recorded new material for the first time in 35 years. Was anyone clamoring for this?

Michael Dobie