New York’s Asian American “band of brothers” all defeated in Tuesday’s Democratic primary

Tim Wu was defeated in Tuesday's Democratic primary for the party's Lt. Governor nomination. (Photo credit: Photograph: Linda Nylind / Guardian).
Tim Wu was defeated in Tuesday’s Democratic primary for the party’s Lt. Governor nomination. (Photo credit: Photograph: Linda Nylind / Guardian).

Over this past week, I’ve been covering the New York Democratic primary, where three Asian American men — Tim Wu, John Liu and SJ Jung — were vying for the party’s nomination for Lt. Governor and various State Senate seats respectively.

Last week, I wrote about Lt. Governor candidate Tim Wu, an unconventional and anti-establishmentarian progressive best known for coining the term “net neutrality” who was campaigning as independent gubernatorial hopeful Zephyr Teachout’s running-mate on a platform of stopping the proposed billion dollar merger between Comcast and Time Warner cable, and other digital rights issues. Disregarded as a longshot candidate for most of the summer, Wu’s campaign gained sudden and significant momentum in the days leading up to yesterday’s primary vote, leading some to suggest that Wu might either win the party’s Democratic nomination outright or replace his mainline Democrat opponent — Kathy Hochul — on the Cuomo ticket; either scenario would have made Timothy Wu a near shoo-in as the first Asian American to hold elected state-wide office in New York.

In the midst of his sudden publicity, Wu publicly endorsed a cadre of Asian American Democratic underdogs — terming the three of them a “band of brothers” — last Tuesday: career politician John Liu and political newcomer SJ Jung, both running to unseat incumbent (White) Democrats in the State Senate.

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The Wu/Liu Divide: NY Asian American politicians caught in the crossfire of a Dem upheaval

John Liu during his term as City Comptroller. (Photo credit: Jonathan Fickies / Bloomberg)
John Liu during his term as City Comptroller. (Photo credit: Jonathan Fickies / Bloomberg)

Late last week, I wrote about New York Lt. Governor candidate Tim Wu’s endorsement of State Senator hopeful John Liu’s campaign. Both men are Taiwanese American politicians; in his endorsement, Wu called Liu and another Asian American State Senate candidate, SJ Jung, Asian American “underdogs” and a “band of brothers”. Wu cited the persistent underrepresentation of Asian Americans in New York’s political leadership in saying, “We could use a stronger Asian-American voice in the legislature.”

Liu responded with a scathing and abrupt rejection of Wu’s endorsement, saying,

“Just to be clear: I do not know this person, I have not met this person and I’m not interested in accepting endorsements from people I have never heard of before.”

This story had me equal parts baffled and titillated: one Asian American politician publicly slapping away the hand of another?

What could possibly cause John Liu, a man who at one time championed stronger Asian American voices within elected office, to eschew the support of a fellow Asian American “brother”? Why haven’t Asian American political representatives come out in support (even begrudging support) for Tim Wu, a man with a legitimate shot at being New York’s first Asian American elected to statewide office?

What the heck?!?

Continue reading “The Wu/Liu Divide: NY Asian American politicians caught in the crossfire of a Dem upheaval”

NY State Senate candidate John Liu rejects Lt. Gov candidate Tim Wu’s endorsement

John Liu in Manhattan in 2012. ( Photo credit: Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)
John Liu in Manhattan in 2012. ( Photo credit: Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)

This is virtually unheard of in political campaigns. This is a big frickin’ deal.

Former NYC Comptroller and City Councilman, and current candidate for NY State Senate John Liu, has openly rejected an endorsement from fellow Taiwanese American New York political hopeful Tim Wu, who is a rising rock star in the state’s Lt. Governor’s race. Democratic voters will be choosing between Wu and  establishment candidate Kathy Hochul on September 9th in the Democratic primary for the Lt. Governor’s race.

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Could Tim Wu become New York’s first Asian American to hold statewide elected office?

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Columbia law professor Timothy Wu is running to be New York’s lieutenant governor. If he wins, he would be the first Asian American to hold statewide office in the state.

Next week on September 9th, New York voters will go to the polls to vote in the Democratic primary for the state’s gubernatorial races. Governor Andrew Cuomo will be running in his first re-election campaign after his successful 2010 bid for the state’s top spot which saw him running uncontested in the Democratic primary and trouncing Republican Carl Paladino in the general.

While there’s almost no doubt that Cuomo will be returning to the governor’s office this year, this year’s gubernatorial race in New York has still been one to watch: namely in regards to who will be standing alongside Cuomo this November. Cuomo’s running mate is Kathy Hochul, a former U.S. Congressman; before her term in the House, Hochul also served as Erie County Clerk for four years. After being defeated in her 2013 re-election campaign, Hochul joined the private sector working as a lobbyist for New York-based M&T Bank.

Hochul has been a lacklustre candidate for lieutenant governor, and virtually unknown outside of Buffalo political circles. Meanwhile, she’s had to spend most of the summer fighting against her own political past: in 2006, Hochul loudly advocated in favour of turning people suspected of undocumented status to federal authorities. Hochul has also voted several times against Obamacare and against gun control. Today, Hochul says she has reversed her position on undocumented immigration (2006 was a different time and place, she tells to Karen DeWitt of Norty County Public Radio) and now claims to be “1000%” in favour of DREAMers. Yet, these statements remain like an albatross around Hochul’s neck.

Meanwhile, another candidate — Columbia law professor Timothy Wu — has become the sudden rockstar of the New York state lieutenant governor’s race; and, if Wu is able to defeat Hochul next week and all other opponents in the general, he will become the first Asian American to hold statewide office in New York State.

So, who exactly is Tim Wu?

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Sikh American man in critical condition after allegedly racially motivated hit-and-run | #Justice4Sandeep

Surveillance camera footage showing Sandeep Singh moments before he is struck and dragged by a white pick-up truck in Queens. Moments earlier, the driver of the truck had hurled a racial slur at Singh and his friend as they stood in the street.
Surveillance camera footage showing Sandeep Singh moments before he is struck and dragged by a white pick-up truck in Queens. Moments earlier, the driver of the truck had hurled a racial slur at Singh and his friend as they stood in the street.

(H/T Angry Asian Man)

Sandeep Singh, a 29-year-old father of two, was nearly killed in an alleged racially-motivated hit-and-run incident last Tuesday night in Ozone Park, Queens. Singh was standing outside of his 99th street office building having just had dinner at a nearby restaurant with his friend Baldey Singh,  when the driver of a white pick-up truck slowed down and yelled a racial slur at the two South Asian American Sikh men. According to Singh, who told his story to the Sikh Coalition:

[T]he driver… used racial and religious slurs against Sandeep, calling him a “terrorist” and telling him to “go back to your country.”

What happened next was captured by a series of surveillance cameras and it is horrifying; video after the jump.

Continue reading “Sikh American man in critical condition after allegedly racially motivated hit-and-run | #Justice4Sandeep”