Liberal Party of New York State

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The Liberal Party of New York State was organized in New York City in 1944 by two prominent trade union leaders and former officials of the American Labor Party, David Dubinsky, president of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, and Alex Rose, president of the United Hatters, Cap and Millinery Workers Union. The most successful third party in America in the 20th century, the Liberal Party has sought to offer the liberal, progressive and independent voter in New York an alternative to the two major political parties and to provide through the practice of coalition politics support to liberal politicians in the other parties.

From the description of Liberal Party of New York State records, 1936-1975. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 144652314

The Liberal Party of New York State is a minor American political party formed in 1944 and active only in the state of New York. It is the oldest existing third party in the United States. Their platform includes support for reproductive freedom, environmental action and universal health care, and opposes the death penalty.

From the guide to the Liberal Party of New York State Collection, circa 1950-1968, (Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries)

The Liberal Party of New York State, the most successful third party in the United States in the twentieth-century was organized in New York City in l944 by two prominent trade union leaders, David Dubinsky, president of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, and Alex Rose, president of the United Hatters, Cap and Millinery Workers Union. Both were instrumental in the ALP founding in l936.

The ALP, which as an offshoot of Labor's Nonpartisan League, was intended to strengthen electoral support for the Democratic Party in New York by offering to the liberal and independent voter an alternative to the traditional party ticket. The ALP by l940 had amassed a following of 400,000 voters and wielded on occasion the balance of power in municipal and state elections.

Within the party, however, an increasingly bitter struggle developed between the moderates led by Rose and Dubinsky and a radical or Communist wing led by Sidney Hillman (president of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union) for control of the party's all-powerful state committee. The struggle came to a head during the l944 primary elections when the Hillman faction which had already taken control of the party in its New York City stronghold, won a decisive victory over the moderates and seized control of the state committee. Dubinsky, Rose and their followers promptly resigned from the ALP and formed the Liberal Party of New York State. The ALP destroyed itself in l948 when forsaking Truman it threw its support to the candidate of the Progressive Party (Henry A. Wallace) and ultimately merged with that party.

Since it's founding the Liberal Party has sought to offer to the liberal, progressive and independent voter in New York an alternative to the two major political parties. Through the practice of coalition politics, it has provided encouragement and support to reform- and liberal-minded politicians in the other parties. Since its first year, when it gave Roosevelt his margin of victory in New York the Liberal Party has continued to exert a strong influence on national, state and local elections.

In l948, the Liberal Party was the main supporter of Truman in New York and in l960 it produced the margin of victory for Kennedy. In gubernatorial elections it was responsible for the election of Averell Harriman in l954 and it gave Hugh Carey strong support in l974. By siphoning off enough votes for its own candidate (Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr.) during the l966 gubernatorial campaign, it defeated the Democratic Party candidate (Frank O'Connor) of whom it disapproved and insured the election of a liberal Republican (Nelson A. Rockefeller).

In l96l the Liberal Party defeated the Democratic Party machine in New York in all five boroughs which had opposed the re-election of Mayor Wagner, and in l965 and l969 it gave decisive support to the mayoral campaigns of John V. Lindsay.

The Liberal Party supported Rudolph Giuliani's first attempt at becoming Mayor of New York City in 1989. He lost to David Dinkins by a narrow margin. Giuliani ran again in 1993 and 1997 with the support of the Liberal Party. He won both times. In 1998 then Lt. Governor Betsy McCaughy Ross switched to the Democratic Party and ran as Governor against her boss Governor George Pataki. When the Democrats refused to help her campaign, the Liberal Party stepped in. Despite a well-run campaign, the Liberal Party's candidate for Governor failed to win even two percent of the state-wide vote.

During the 2002 Governor's race, Andrew Cuomo, endorsed by the Liberal Party, abandoned his campaign months before the election, as a result the Liberal Party failed to receive enough votes (15,761 of the 50,000 needed) to be automatically included on subsequent ballots. It ceased its operations at its state offices soon after.

The Liberal Party by the nomination of independent candidates and by the participation in fusion campaigns (a candidate can be the nominee of multiple parties and aggregate the votes received on all the different ballot lines), has influenced the outcome of numerous elections at the local level in boroughs, counties, assembly and judicial districts.

On national issues the Liberal Party has advocated measures providing for full employment, affordable housing, consumer and environmental protection and women's rights. It was the first political party to call for the ending of the bombing and of the war in Vietnam and it was also the first to call for the impeachment of President Nixon.

Structurally the Liberal Party is composed of a state committee (which is the supreme governing power of the party), county and assembly district committees, a state convention, and judicial district conventions. The state committee which is composed of five members elected biennially from each assembly district selects the state chairman and other officers. This state committee then establishes standing committees and the state executive committee. The state executive committee administers the affairs of the party when the state committee is not in session. The county and assembly district committees are responsible for the management of the party at the local level.

State conventions and judicial district conventions; composed of delegates elected from the assembly districts, are held for the purpose of nominating candidates for political offices and for the office of state supreme court justice.

Through the years the Liberal Party's officers have included in addition to Messrs. Rose and Dubinsky numerous other distinguished New Yorkers including John L. Childs, George S. Counts, Adolf A. Berle, Jr., Dr. Timothy W. Costello, Dr. Donald Szantho Harrington (Chairman), and Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr (co-founder). Ben Davidson, James S. Notaro, Carl F. Grillo and most recently, Martin Oesterreich have served as its executive directors.

From the guide to the Liberal Party of New York State records, 1936-2002, (The New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Local 155 (New York, N.Y.). ILGWU. Local 155 recordss, 1933-1995. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Tichenor, George, 1906-1959. George Tichenor files, 1948-1959. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Davidson, Ben, 1900-. Reminiscences of Ben Davidson : oral history, 1978. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn International Ladies Garment Workers Union. Frederick F. Umhey, Executive Secretary. Correspondence, 1934-1955 [bulk 1940-1950]. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives
referencedIn ILGWU. Local 62 correspondence, 1913-1976 Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives
referencedIn ILGWU. Gus Tyler papers, 1952-1980 Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives
referencedIn International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. ILGWU. Local 89. Luigi Antonini correspondence, 1919-1968. Cornell University Library
referencedIn LeRoy Edward Bowman Papers, 1905-1971. Columbia University. Rare Book an Manuscript Library
creatorOf Liberal Party of New York State records, 1936-2002 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Harrington, Donald Szantho. Donald Szantho Harrington papers, 1936-1989. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Dean Alfange papers, 1927-1988 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Donald S. Harrington papers, 1936-2000 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Sidney Hertzberg papers, 1924-1984 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Local 62 (New York, N.Y.). ILGWU. Local 62 correspondence, 1913-1976. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Gore Vidal papers, 1850-2020 (inclusive), 1936-2008 (bulk) Houghton Library
referencedIn Guide to the Mark Starr Photographs, 1944-1955 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
referencedIn ILGWU. New York Cloak Joint Board records, 1926-1973 Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives
creatorOf Liberal Party of New York State. Liberal Party of New York State records, 1944-1977. Cornell University Library
creatorOf Liberal Party of New York State. Liberal Party of New York State records, 1936-1975. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Alfange, Dean, 1897-1989. Dean Alfange papers, 1927-1988. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Assistant President. ILGWU. Gus Tyler papers, 1952-1980. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Guide to the Mark Starr Photographs, 1944-1955 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
referencedIn Dorothy Norman Papers, 1923-1978 Columbia University. Rare Book an Manuscript Library
referencedIn International Ladies Garment Workers Union. Louis Stulberg, General Secretary-Treasurer. Correspondence, 1956-1966 [bulk 1959-1966]. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives
referencedIn Lazarus, Reuben A. (Reuben Avis), 1895-1971. Reminiscences of Reuben Avis Lazarus :koral history, 1951. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn ILGWU Records, 1884-2006, bulk 1923-1995. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives
referencedIn Bowman, LeRoy, 1887-1971. LeRoy Bowman papers, 1905-1971. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Norman, Dorothy, 1905-1997. Papers, 1923-1978. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Earl Browder Papers, 1879-1990 Syracuse University. Library. Special Collections Research Center
referencedIn ILGWU. Local 89. Luigi Antonini correspondence, 1919-1968 Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives
referencedIn Harrington, Donald Szantho. Reminiscences of Donald Szantho Harrington : oral history, 1977. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Printed Ephemera Collection on Organizations, 1886- Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
creatorOf Liberal Party of New York State. Platform, 1968. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn John Lyons Papers, 1905-1960 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
referencedIn ILGWU. Local 155 records, 1933-1995 Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives
referencedIn International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union records 1906-1985, 1923-1984 (bulk). Cornell University Library
referencedIn International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. General Secretary-Treasurer. ILGWU. Louis Stulberg correspondence, 1949-1966. Cornell University Library
referencedIn ILGWU. Local 22. Education Department records, 1930-1975 Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives
creatorOf Liberal Party of New York State Collection, circa 1950-1968 Syracuse University. Library. Special Collections Research Center
referencedIn International Ladies Garment Workers Union. Louis Stulberg, President. Correspondence, 1945-1977 [bulk 1966-1975]. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives
referencedIn International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Local 22 (New York, N.Y.). Education Dept. ILGWU. Local 22. Education Department records, 1930-1975. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Lyons, John, 1881-1957. John Lyons papers, 1905-1960. Churchill County Museum
referencedIn Koch, Leo. Papers, 1943-1972. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn George Tichenor files, 1948-1959. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives
referencedIn Campbell, Persia Crawford, 1898-1974. Papers, 1931-1974. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Hertzberg, Sidney. Sidney Hertzberg papers, 1924-1984. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. President's Office. ILGWU. Louis Stulberg correspondence, 1945-1977. Cornell University Library
creatorOf Liberal Party of New York State. [Minor publications]. Yale University Library
referencedIn International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. New York Cloak Joint Board. ILGWU. New York Cloak Joint Board records, 1926-1973. Cornell University Library
referencedIn International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Executive Secretary. ILGWU. Frederick Umhey correspondence, 1934-1955. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Lillian Reiner Collection, 1890-1991 Syracuse University. Library. Special Collections Research Center
referencedIn International Ladies Garment Workers Union. Charles S. Zimmerman papers, 1919-1958 [bulk 1920-1945]. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Alfange, Dean, 1897-1989. person
associatedWith American Labor Party. corporateBody
associatedWith Berle, Adolf Augustus, 1895-1971. person
associatedWith Bowman, LeRoy, 1887-1971. person
associatedWith Browder, Earl, 1891-1973 person
associatedWith Campbell, Persia Crawford, 1898-1974. person
associatedWith CARE (Firm) corporateBody
associatedWith Childs, John L. b. 1889. person
associatedWith Coleman, Gerald R person
associatedWith Coleman, Gerald R. person
associatedWith Cordaro, Angelo person
associatedWith Cordaro, Angelo. person
associatedWith Davidson, Ben. person
associatedWith Davidson, Ben, 1900- person
associatedWith Diamond, Eli person
associatedWith Diamond, Eli. person
associatedWith Dickinson, Clifford person
associatedWith Dickinson, Clifford. person
associatedWith Dubinsky, David, 1892-1982. person
associatedWith Farrell, James T. 1904-1979. person
associatedWith Fooner, Michael. person
associatedWith Greiner, Raymond person
associatedWith Greiner, Raymond. person
associatedWith Harrington, Donald Szantho. person
associatedWith Hertzberg, Sidney person
associatedWith Hertzberg, Sidney. person
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. corporateBody
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. corporateBody
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. corporateBody
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Assistant President corporateBody
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Assistant President. corporateBody
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Executive Secretary. corporateBody
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. General Secretary-Treasurer. corporateBody
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Local 155 (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Local 22 (New York, N.Y.). Education Dept. corporateBody
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Local 62 (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. New York Cloak Joint Board. corporateBody
associatedWith International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. President's Office. corporateBody
associatedWith Koch, Leo. person
associatedWith Lazarus, Reuben A. (Reuben Avis), 1895-1971. person
associatedWith Liberal Party corporateBody
associatedWith Liberal Party of New York State. Trade Union Council. corporateBody
associatedWith Lyons, John, 1881-1957. person
associatedWith Margolies, Albert person
associatedWith Margolies, Albert. person
associatedWith Montross, Warren person
associatedWith Montross, Warren. person
associatedWith Norman, Dorothy, 1905-1997. person
associatedWith Peperone, E. Joseph person
associatedWith Peperone, E. Joseph. person
associatedWith Pomarlen, Joseph M person
associatedWith Pomarlen, Joseph M. person
associatedWith Reiner, Lillian, Archives person
associatedWith Rose, Alex, 1898-1976. person
associatedWith Starr, Mark, 1894- person
associatedWith Tamiment Library. corporateBody
associatedWith Tichenor, George. person
associatedWith Tichenor, George, 1906-1959. person
associatedWith Vidal, Gore, 1925- person
associatedWith Zimmerman, Charles S., 1896-1983. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
New York (State)
New York (State)
New York (N.Y.)
New York (State)
United States
New York (N.Y.)
United States
New York (State)
Subject
Political Campaigns
Political parties--Finance
Politics, government and public administration
Liberalism--United States
Elections--New York (State)
New York State
Labor unions
Liberalism
Political parties
Labor unions--New York (State)--New York
Political parties--United States
Campaign funds
Political parties--New York (State)
Third parties (United States politics)
Political campaigns--New York (State)
Elections
Occupation
Politicians
Activity
Politicians

Corporate Body

Active 1936

Active 1975

Information

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