Zephyr Teachout: “I’m the working families’ Democrat”

Zephyr Teachout is the liberal who is challenging Governor Andrew Cuomo from the left in this year’s Democratic Party. She received 41% of the Working Families Party vote at their convention last month, and caused Governor Cuomo so much worry that he aggressively moved to the left to securing that party’s gubernatorial nomination.

Teachout has a lot of support among the liberal political activists who elected Bill DeBlasio. She has been mobilizing progressive groups from teachers to labor, in what she calls “old fashioned Democratic politics.”

“We are in the middle of a debate: It’s about whether Democrats should represent Main Street or Wall Street. It’s about whether Democrats should represent the 1% or the 99%. Every person in this room is on the side of the workers; the parents; the teachers; the small business owners,” she says.

“I just finished writing a book for Harvard on the meaning of corruption in American law,” she says jovially. “I feel that my job here on earth is to fight corruption and the concentration of economic and political power that is choking our democracy and choking our economy.”

She grew up in rural Vermont, went to Yale and then Duke Law. She is now a professor of anti-trust law at Fordham University.

In this seminar, she explains her view public corruption:

And in this lecture she talks about the role of the first amendment in the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence, as it is complicated by emergent technologies:

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