We here at Pol Position have a theory, one that we kind of borrowed (okay, stole) from some paper called the New York Times. And it goes like this: with so many City Council members trying to make the jump from their home districts to holding citywide office and so many new faces that nobody has ever heard of looking to fill their seats, endorsements are seen as a particularly valuable guidepost for voters.
Sure, you've never heard of Candidate A, but if the League of Philatelic Voters, Post 7230 has thrown their support behind them, they must be worthy of your vote, right?
The Times touched on this in an article about John Liu picking up the endorsement of the Uniformed Firefighters Association earlier this week in his bid to be the city's next comptroller. Highlighting the importance of union support, they ran down the union endorsements of Liu opponents. Melinda Katz has the support of unions like the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Building and Construction Trades Council (which both sound like imposing unions), while David Weprin enjoye the support of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association.
At the bottom of the list was David Yassky, who garnered the support of just two unions, the not-so-imposing Freelancers Union and the American Federation of Musicians, Local 802. It turns out that Yassky accepted the support of the Freelancers Union only after reading their well-developed and creative endorsement pitch, while the American Federation of Musicians – Local 802, mind you – decided to endorse Yassky because, well, you only live once, and you might as well endorse Yassky before you have to grow up, cut your hair, join a real union, and endorse a real candidate.
But to Yassky's credit, at least those are ostensibly “groups” of people with a base of voters. It's the endorsements from individuals outside the political realm that is starting to irk us.
Take, for example, one of the mayor's latest endorsements: Billie Jean King. Hey, what the hell, she was in town for the U.S. Open anyway, she had some free time to kill, so why not endorse somebody? Her political qualifications: a dominant first serve and superior net play.
Or take the case of Bill de Blasio, who, like Liu, also picked up the endorsement of the Uniformed Firefighters Association in his bid to become the next public advocate, while at the same time earning the endorsement of former FDNY member Steve Buscemi. The de Blasio campaign felt the need to make special note of the support of Buscemi in the subject line of their email. Really? Steve Buscemi? That's what we're bragging about now?
A tip to all you other candidates out there: We hera that Lindsay Lohan still hasn't endorsed anybody yet. Get to work!