Working Families Party excludes Rev. Billy Talen from NYC mayoral forum

Roy Edroso of the Village Voice reported on Friday, July 3rd:

Last night three candidates for Mayor of New York — Michael Bloomberg, councilmember Tony Avella, and comptroller Bill Thompson — attended the Working Familes Party Mayoral Forum at the Hotel Trades Council on West 44th Street. (We should mention that Green Party candidate Reverend Billy wanted to be at the forum, but was excluded; “The Working Families Party have sent a cynical signal,” his office tells us. “New York is not a corporation. New York is a city. A city in a democracy. Let’s debate like it is.”)

The debate exclusion was brought to light during a live Twitter exchange focused on the Working Families Party forum. Asked why Rev. Billy was not at the forum, WorkingFamiles replied, “Rev. Billy did not apply for our endorsement. The mayoral forum is for the candidates who applied for it.” In response, RevBillyTalen wrote, “I did apply for the Working Families endorsement. Why didn’t you respond to my application?” Rev. Billy’s team weighed in as VoteRevBillyHQ, saying “the VoteRevBilly campaign absolutely sought the WFP endorsement.” There has not been any response from WorkingFamilies as of this writing.

We’ll keep GPW readers updated if the WFP issues a clarification about why they chose to exclude Billy Talen from their mayoral forum.

Keep Left NYC – Progressive News from the Big Apple deserves a big hat tip for investigating this story.

Dave Schwab


  1. Reverend Billy – hasn’t collected the necessary petition signatures to appear on the ballot yet.

    That’s always the first step. Get on the ballot. Then you’re a real candidate.

    He needs about 17,000 signatures…right?

  2. Petitioning doesn’t start until July 7th; this forum was held on July 2nd. There’s no connection between those two things. The issue is why the WFP excluded Rev. Billy from their forum and claimed that he wasn’t seeking their endorsement, when he and his team claim that he was.

  3. The Working Families Party really isn’t a political party at all. It’s more like a Democratic Party caucus, and a tool for promoting a certain constituency. It doesn’t intend to rival the Democratic Party, but to push every now and then. Part of this arrangement is that the Working Families Party can never really go too far out on a limb to offend the Democrats. The WFP works inside the system – and it’s a part of New York State’s dysfunctional politics, in my opinion.

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