Miner’s minor party isn’t a Republican ploy, but it’s unsure what it is (2022)

After months of publicly considering whether or not she would run against Gov. Andrew Cuomo, former Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner declared in mid-June that she would launch an independent gubernatorial bid on the Serve America Movement line. The Serve America Movement, or SAM, was founded by a bipartisan group unhappy with the choices in the 2016 electionand dissatisfied with the increasing partisanship in both parties. They created SAM as a third-party alternative after the election.

SAM is all but unknown in New York, and it is looking to gain ballot access through Miner’s candidacy, but it’s difficult to envision the party’s long-term role, given that it takes no stance on many issues.

Miner said that she was approached to run for governor by several parties, such as the Democratic, Republican, Working Families and Liberal parties, but that she realized to fight corruption she would have to launch a bid outside of the current party system. (Representatives of SAM had heard Miner on a podcast in May and approached her afterwards.)

“I really found myself agreeing with the values that they put forward, and the direction that they wanted to go: saying that we have to engage in civil dialogue, that we can't demonize each other, that we should remember we all have dignity as human beings and as citizens to focus on fact-based dialogue and to remember that it's about public service, not partisanship,” Miner said.

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SAM’s three priorities are electing independent candidates, supporting ballot measures for electoral reform, and gaining ballot access across the country, according to SAM strategist Reed Galen, a former presidential campaign staffer for George W. Bush and John McCain. SAM being run by Republicans such as Galen and former Bush White House official Sarah Lenti raised concerns in some quarters that this was a GOP effort to elect the Republican gubernatorial candidate, Marc Molinaro, by drawing votes away from Cuomo. However, Galen refutes that claim, noting SAM also includes Democrats such as Obama administration veteran Hagar Chemali.

Under state election law, Miner needs to obtain 50,000 votes in the general election on the SAM line in order for it to get ballot access in New York.

SAM promotes moderate, technocratic, business-friendly policies such as ending mass incarceration, environmental protection, balanced budgets and investing in infrastructure and education – causes which are also supported by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. When asked why SAM chose to back an independent candidate in this race, instead of the incumbent who shares their priorities, Galen said the party was not interested in reinforcing the rule of Republicans or Democrats.

“So a lot of candidates, whether it's Gov. Cuomo or anybody else, might speak to a lot of issues, but the question is, on any given day, are those things actually being turned into policy, is it making individual voters’ or individual residents' lives better?” Galen asked. Cuomo has, in fact, enacted a wide range of policies to promote green energy and technological innovation, and he has put a cap on spending for every agency. Cuomo has failed to get many of his proposals through the state Legislature on electoral and voting reform and anti-corruption measures.

According to Galen, SAM is “not supporting Republicans and we're not supporting Democrats.” However, Miner is a Democrat, although she has been critical of Cuomo for several years. Her running mate, Pelham Mayor Michael Volpe, is a Republican.

When asked if she identified less as a Democrat now than as an independent, Miner avoided answering directly. “I will tell you that there is no room for me in Andrew Cuomo's Democratic Party in New York state,” Miner said. “You cannot cast aspersions at the Republicans in Washington for not holding President Trump accountable for the actions that he's taking, and at the same time turn a blind eye to what is going on with the corruption in Albany.”

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Many of New York’s legislative leaders in both parties, including former Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver and former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno, have faced corruption charges, as have close associates of Cuomo, including his former right-hand man Joe Percoco. If Miner focuses on corruption, she could get a boost from the ongoing “Buffalo Billion” trialinvolving alleged bid-rigging in state economic development contracts.

While eliminating corruption is a bipartisan cause in New York, it’s also a wonkishone, somewhat removed from the visceral subjects that motivate most voters.

SAM does not have a position on many social issues important to New Yorkers, such as access to abortion and LGBT rights. Instead, SAM leaves social policy up to its candidates. “Once you start to have candidates, it's going to be those candidates in their state who are going to have to start really putting the fine touches or putting the specifics on those details,” Galen said.

That approach, however, ignores the fact that many voters will only vote for candidates who share their values on these hot-button issues.

Miner supports abortion rightsand is a longtime advocate for women’s rights. When asked if SAM could support Miner and, at the same time, support a hypothetical candidate in Texas who was opposed to abortion, Galen indicated that SAM doesn’t have stances on many economic issues either. “Someone running for governor of Texas on the SAM line might very well have a different set of priorities because first and foremost, Texas is a right-to work-state, unions aren't a thing there, it doesn't have an income tax,” Galen said. “The candidates will have to run their campaigns from a policy perspective on the things about which their constituents are most concerned.”

When asked whether this could make it difficult for SAM to get a foothold in New York, Galen avoided answering directly. “Remember that for decades, generations even, a Southern Democrat had a very different worldview than a Northern Democrat. And a Northeastern Republican had a very different worldview than a Western Republican,” Galen said. “But for whatever reason they were all able to live together, and the boundaries by which you could be a Republican or Democrat were not so rigid.”

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In a winner-take-all election system that incentivizes disparate interests to agglomerate into two major parties, this point would seem to undermine, rather than bolster, the case for a third-party effort. If having more than two major parties made any sense in the American electoral system, then the era when Democrats were divided between their Northern liberal and conservative Southern wings would have been a propitious time to develop a third party. That they didn’t – and that, instead of starting a third party, Southern Democrats joined the GOP when the Democrats enacted civil rights legislation – is arguably a historical case against SAM’s theory of politics.

Also, as Galen implicitly acknowledges, the parties have sorted out ideologically in the last few decades. Voters today expect parties to adhere to a policy agenda. Cable news and social media further reinforced already solidifying partisan trends. In recent elections, other centrist, pro-business third-party movements such as Unity08 and Americans Elect have similarly tried to paper over the divisions on social issues, with limited success.

Ironically, the system of ideologically heterodox parties that Galen mentions was partially the product of local party machines that were more interested in patronage than political philosophy, which is part of what SAM opposes. Those party organizations also were overwhelmingly white and male.

Jeanne Zaino, a professor of political science at Iona College, said that SAM could have difficulty establishing itself in New York, in part because “they haven't taken stands one way or the other on a lot of other issues that voters will care about.”

“Which sliver of the voting population are they looking to pull over? Probably not Working Families folks, probably not the progressive wing of the Democratic Party,” she said. “Maybe it's the moderate Democrats who are frustrated with Cuomo on the issue of corruption, and (think) he may be too right-wing fiscally, but I'm not sure there's enough of those people there.”

Miner doesn’t believe that SAM’s lack of a position on major social issues wouldn’t matter to New York voters because she herself is supportive of women’s rights. “I think if they're running a candidate who has been an outspoken advocate of women's health care and reproductive choice, I think it shows that SAM is open and supportive of those positions,” she said.

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Zaino guessed that even if Miner is not elected governor, she could continue to work with SAM if she gets enough votes for it to become a party in the state.

But Miner’s commitment to SAM is stronger than it is to the major party that supports expanded women’s rights, as she plans to keep working with SAM, rather than the Democrats, after the election. “I believe in their principles and their values, and I think we in this country and this state need to focus on governing, to focus on solving problems, to focus on civil dialogue,” Miner said.

Galen refuted another common claim of opponents to Miner’s bid – that it could split the Democratic vote and elect Republican Marc Molinaro with a mere plurality – by making an argument that past third party candidates as Ralph Nader and Jill Stein would applaud. “Right now, in the vast majority of elections, both choices are bad. Voters go to the ballot box and say, it's bad or worse,” Galen said. “So what are you spoiling? If both choices are bad, a better option that voters haven't had before is probably a good thing, not a bad thing.”

New York voters are overwhelmingly Democrats, so Miner and SAM will have to win over a lot of Democrats to win the governor’s race. Whether Democrats who remember the 2000 and 2016 presidential elections will be convinced by Galen’s argument, however, remains to be seen.

Zaino said that introducing another candidate “couldn’t hurt” Molinaro, but that that it was also unlikely to get him elected since it is a “horrible, horrible, horrible” year to be running as a Republican in a liberal state. “I don't believe we're going to see the enormous split that people are banking on," she said."Is it possible? I guess theoretically, but I just don't see it in the offing right now.”


What are three issues that the Republican Party focuses on? ›

The Republican Party is known to support right-leaning ideologies of conservatism, social conservatism, and economic libertarianism, among other -isms. Thus, Republicans broadly advocate for traditional values, a low degree of government interference, and large support of the private sector.

What are two major issues of the Republican Party? ›

Currently, the party's fiscal conservatism includes support for lower taxes, free market capitalism, deregulation of corporations, and restrictions on labor unions.

What issues were important in the creation of the Republican Party? ›

In 1854, the Republican Party emerged to combat the expansion of slavery into American territories after the passing of the Kansas–Nebraska Act. The early Republican Party consisted of northern Protestants, factory workers, professionals, businessmen, prosperous farmers, and after the Civil War, former black slaves.

What are the smaller political parties called? ›

A minor party is a political party that plays a smaller (in some cases much smaller, even insignificant in comparison) role than a major party in a country's politics and elections.

What are conservative beliefs? ›

They advocate low taxes, free markets, deregulation, privatization, and reduced government spending and government debt. Social conservatives see traditional social values, often rooted in familialism and religion, as being threatened by secularism and moral relativism.

What do the Democrats believe in? ›

Democratic platforms seek to promote social programs, labor unions, consumer protection, workplace safety regulation, equal opportunity, disability rights, racial equity, regulations against environmental pollution, and criminal justice reform.

What are the 4 political ideologies? ›

  • 2.1 Conservatism.
  • 2.2 Liberalism.
  • 2.3 Moderates.

What are the 4 types of political parties? ›

Political scientists have distinguished between different types of political parties that have evolved throughout history. These include cadre parties, mass parties, catch-all parties and cartel parties.

What are liberal views? ›

Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but they generally support private property, market economies, individual rights (including civil rights and human rights), liberal democracy, secularism, rule of law, economic and political freedom, freedom of speech, freedom ...

Which was a factor in the rise of the Republican Party quizlet? ›

The development of railroads and the economic integration of the Northeast and Northwest created the groundwork for the political unification of the Republican Party.

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Because of the difficulties third parties face in gaining any representation, third parties tend to exist to promote a specific issue or personality. Often, the intent is to force national public attention on such an issue.

What does GOP stand for in politics? ›

GOP, short for Grand Old Party, is a nickname for the Republican Party of the United States of America.

Is libertarian a political party? ›

The Libertarian Party (LP) is a political party in the United States that promotes civil liberties, non-interventionism, laissez-faire capitalism, and limiting the size and scope of government.

Which is the largest and strongest political party in the world? ›

Parties with over 50 million members
RankNameClaimed number of members (Year)
1Bharatiya Janata Party Indian People's Party180 million (2019)
2Chinese Communist Party96.71 million (2022)

Is the American Independent Party liberal or conservative? ›

American Independent Party
Split fromDemocratic Party American independent Party
Headquarters476 Deodara St. Vacaville, California 95688
IdeologyAnti-communism Paleoconservatism Formerly: Segregationism White supremacy
Political positionFar-right
11 more rows

What are 5 beliefs of conservatives? ›

7 Core Principles of Conservatism
  • Individual Freedom. The birth of our great nation was inspired by the bold declaration that our individual,God-given liberties should be preserved against government intrusion. ...
  • Limited Government. ...
  • The Rule of Law. ...
  • Peace through Strength. ...
  • Fiscal Responsibility. ...
  • Free Markets. ...
  • Human Dignity.

What is the true definition of a conservative? ›

Conservatism is a cultural, social, and political philosophy that seeks to promote and to preserve traditional social institutions and practices. The central tenets of conservatism may vary in relation to the status quo of the culture and civilization in which it appears.

What are traditional conservative values? ›

Traditionalist conservatism is based on Edmund Burke's political views. Traditionalists value social ties and the preservation of ancestral institutions above what they see as excessive individualism. The concepts of custom, convention, and tradition are heavily emphasized in traditionalist conservatism.

Are there more Republicans or Democrats? ›

On December 17, 2020, Gallup polling found that 31% of Americans identified as Democrats, 25% identified as Republican, and 41% as Independent.

What are the 3 values of democracy? ›

Legal equality, political freedom and rule of law are often identified as foundational characteristics for a well-functioning democracy.

Who runs the Democratic Party? ›

Democratic National Committee
FoundedMay 1848
Location430 South Capitol Street SE, Washington, D.C., U.S.
Key peopleJaime Harrison (Chair) Chris Korge (Finance chair) Jason Rae (Secretary)
AffiliationsDemocratic Party
1 more row

What percentage of college professors are liberal? ›

Higher Education Research Institute

Between 1989 and 1998, the survey showed negligible change in the number of professors who described themselves as far left or liberal, approximately 45%. As of 2014, surveying 16,112 professors, the percentage of liberal/far left had increased to 60%.

What do most libertarians tend to believe? ›

Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and political freedom, and minimize the state's encroachment on and violations of individual liberties; emphasizing pluralism, cosmopolitanism, cooperation, civil and political rights, bodily autonomy, free association, free trade, freedom of expression, freedom of choice, freedom ...

Is religion an ideology? ›

Religions are generally classified as subgroups of ideologies, in that they meet all the requirements and perform similar functions to an ideology, but have unique 'properties' unto themselves.

How many political parties should we have? ›

As per latest publication dated 23 September 2021 from Election Commission of India, the total number of parties registered was 2858, with 8 national parties, 54 state parties and 2796 unrecognised parties.

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The Democratic Party and the Republican Party are the most powerful. Yet other parties, such as the Reform, Libertarian, Socialist, Natural Law, Constitution, and Green Parties can promote candidates in a presidential election.

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A political party is a group of people who agree on some common policies and programmes for the welfare of people in the society. Such people come together and contest elections to achieve their common goals.

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Classical liberalism is a political tradition and a branch of liberalism that advocates free market and laissez-faire economics; civil liberties under the rule of law with especial emphasis on individual autonomy, limited government, economic freedom, political freedom and freedom of speech.

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Moderate is an ideological category which designates a rejection of radical or extreme views, especially in regard to politics and religion. A moderate is considered someone occupying any mainstream position avoiding extreme views.

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'Liberal' shares a root with 'liberty' and can mean anything from "generous" to "loose" to "broad-minded." Politically, it means "“a person who believes that government should be active in supporting social and political change."

What was the purpose of the appeal of the Independent Democrats quizlet? ›

The Appeal of the Independent Democrats was issued by antislavery congressmen opposed to the Kansas-Nebraska bill because it would potentially open the area to slavery.

Why are political parties important quizlet? ›

What are political parties? Why are political parties important to the functioning of a democracy? They increase participation in politics, provide a central cue for citizens to cast informed votes, and organize the business of Congress and governing.

When one party controls the legislature and the other party is the president we have? ›

In the United States, divided government describes a situation in which one party controls the executive branch while another party controls one or both houses of the legislative branch.

Can states ban political parties? ›

The U.S. Supreme Court has held that states may regulate certain aspects of political parties, including their internal government structure and nominating process, if they can demonstrate an interest in the regulation that corresponds to the severity of the burden imposed.

Does the Constitution say anything about political parties? ›

The United States Constitution is silent on the subject of political parties. The Founding Fathers did not originally intend for American politics to be partisan.

What is the spoiler role of minor parties? ›

One spoiler candidate's presence in the election draws votes from a major candidate with similar politics, thereby causing a strong opponent of both or several to win. The minor candidate causing this effect is referred to as a spoiler.

What does gob stand for? ›

Third Definition for GOB
Definition:To Shout About
Type:Slang Word (Jargon)
Guessability:1: Easy to guess
Typical Users:Adults and Teenagers

What does DFL stand for in politics? ›

August 2018. The Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party (DFL) is a major political party in the U.S. state of Minnesota. It is currently the state's favored party, controlling half of Minnesota's U.S. House seats, both U.S. Senate seats, the lower house of the state legislature, and the governorship.

What's the difference between partisan and bipartisan? ›

Bipartisanship in different party systems

Bipartisanship (in the context of a two-party system) is the opposite of partisanship which is characterized by a lack of cooperation between rival political parties.

What is the opposite of libertarian? ›

Bottom left – Statism. The opposite of libertarianism, corresponding with those supporting low economic and personal freedom. Top left – Left-wing political philosophies. Those supporting low economic freedom and high personal freedom.

Do libertarians support the death penalty? ›

Most libertarians oppose capital punishment. They argue that capital punishment is an extreme exertion of state power, it is contrary to the values of a free society, authoritarian countries tend to be retentionist, and liberal-democratic societies generally abolitionist.

Do Libertarians believe in taxes? ›

Taxation. Some deontological libertarians believe that consistent adherence to libertarian doctrines such as the non-aggression principle demands unqualified moral opposition to any form of taxation, a sentiment encapsulated in the phrase "Taxation is theft!".

Where are the biggest parties in the world? ›

New Orleans, Louisiana

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Which political party is currently in power? ›

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP; [bʱaːɾət̪iːjə dʒənət̪aː paːrtiː] ( listen); lit. 'Indian People's Party') is a political party in India, and one of the two major Indian political parties alongside the Indian National Congress.

What do the Democrats believe in? ›

Democratic platforms seek to promote social programs, labor unions, consumer protection, workplace safety regulation, equal opportunity, disability rights, racial equity, regulations against environmental pollution, and criminal justice reform.

What are the 4 types of political parties? ›

Political scientists have distinguished between different types of political parties that have evolved throughout history. These include cadre parties, mass parties, catch-all parties and cartel parties.

What are Democrat beliefs? ›

The Democratic Party (whose logo is a donkey) generally represents left-leaning, liberal and progressive ideological values, thus advocating for a strong government to regulate business and support for the citizens of the United States. Thus, one of the key values emphasized by Democrats is social responsibility.

What are the 3 values of democracy? ›

Legal equality, political freedom and rule of law are often identified as foundational characteristics for a well-functioning democracy.

What three groups made up most of the Republican Party during Reconstruction? ›

During Reconstruction, the Republican Party in the South represented a coalition of Black people (who made up the overwhelming majority of Republican voters in the region) along with "carpetbaggers" and "scalawags," as white Republicans from the North and South, respectively, were known.

What is the main purpose of political parties? ›

A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. It is common for the members of a party to hold similar ideas about politics, and parties may promote specific ideological or policy goals.

What do Republicans believe about foreign policy? ›

The Republican Party of the United States has held a variety of views on foreign policy and national defense over the course of its existence. Generally speaking, it has advocated for a more militaristic foreign policy (with the exception of isolationist and libertarian elements).

Does the US have a true democracy? ›

The United States is a representative democracy. This means that our government is elected by citizens. Here, citizens vote for their government officials. These officials represent the citizens' ideas and concerns in government.

Which is the first democratic country in the world? ›

Athens is often regarded as the birthplace of democracy and remains an important reference point for democracy. Literature about the Athenian democracy spans over centuries with the earliest works being The Republic of Plato and Politics of Aristotle, continuing with Discourses of Niccolò Machiavelli.

Which country is known as mother of democracy? ›

"The mother of parliaments" is a phrase coined by the British politician and reformer John Bright in a speech at Birmingham on 18 January 1865. It was a reference to England. His actual words were: "England is the mother of parliaments". This was reported in The Times on the following day.

What was the main issue relating to Reconstruction that divided Republicans at the end of the Civil War? ›

The main issue relating to Reconstruction that divided Republicans at the end of the Civil War was two opposing opinions. The Radical Republicans, members of Congress during the time of the Civil war and the Reconstruction period, wanted to end slavery forever and pass laws granting equal rights to all blacks.

What was the main cause for the end of Reconstruction? ›

While many factors led to the end of Reconstruction, the official end is generally attributed to the Compromise of 1877. The compromise resulted from a long process that included political turmoil, continuing division over race, and economic difficulties.

Why did the radical Republicans eventually abandon Reconstruction? ›

Slaves had little rights or opportunities, such as the freedom of assembly or the right to an education. Why did the Radical Republicans eventually abandon Reconstruction? Reconstruction was no longer progressing as they had hoped.

What is a political plank? ›

A component of a political platform is often called a plank – the opinions and viewpoints about an individual topic, as held by a party, person, or organization. The word plank depicts a component of an overall political platform, as a metaphorical reference to a basic stage made of boards or planks of wood.

What is the most important function of a political party? ›

The basic purpose of political parties is to nominate candidates for public office and to get as many of them elected as possible. Once elected, these officials try to achieve the goals of their party through legislation and program initiatives.

How many political parties should we have? ›

As per latest publication dated 23 September 2021 from Election Commission of India, the total number of parties registered was 2858, with 8 national parties, 54 state parties and 2796 unrecognised parties.

Do libertarians support war? ›

Left-libertarians generally oppose foreign interventions and are usually anti-imperialist while right-libertarians also generally oppose all government foreign aid to other nations. In the United States, the Libertarian Party oppose strategic alliances between the United States and foreign nations.

What is the liberal view on foreign policy? ›

Liberal internationalism is a foreign policy doctrine that argues two main points: first, that international organizations should achieve multilateral agreements between states that uphold rules-based norms and promote liberal democracy, and, second, that liberal international organizations can intervene in other ...

What are the 5 goals of foreign policy? ›

Foreign Policy Goals

Preserving the national security of the United States. Promoting world peace and a secure global environment. Maintaining a balance of power among nations. Working with allies to solve international problems.


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