Cuomo's reëlection yields to political infighting over GOP win in State Senate

By LOUIS FLORES

Shortly after midnight last night, the Working Family Party launched an attack, accusing Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) of having failed to live up to the backroom deal he struck in order to win the Working Families Party's endorsement last spring.  

"Governor Cuomo promised to take back the State Senate. Instead, he squandered millions on a fake party," said Working Families Party co-chair Bill Lipton, in a statement released to the press.

The fake party at issue is the Women's Equality Party, which Gov. Cuomo created with the assistance of his fellow neoliberal operative, Christine Quinn, after he had secured the endorsement of the Working Families Party.  Many press reports have since been published, indicating that Gov. Cuomo's and Ms. Quinn's sole purpose was to siphon away votes from the Working Families Party's base.

In exchange for having initially received the Working Families Party's endorsement, Gov. Cuomo pledged to support efforts to form a new Democratic majority in the State Senate, wresting control back from the Republican Party, which had formed a tenuous majority by way of a coalition with a breakaway faction of turn-coat Democrats known as the Independent Democratic Conference, or IDC.  Following the Working Families Party's endorsement of Gov. Cuomo, the IDC announced an end to their agreement to conference with Republicans, but questions lingered as to whether the IDC members would voluntarily give up their leadership posts and other perks associated with their pact with Republicans.  

 

Karen Scharff, the Working Families Party's other co-chair, similarly attacked Gov. Cuomo.

The post-election criticisms by party leaders of Gov. Cuomo were seen as too little, too late, since the party leaders had urged leftists in New York to cast their ballots for Gov. Cuomo on their very own party line in spite of widespread distrust of Gov. Cuomo's commitment to each of a Democratic Party majority in the State Senate and an aggressive, progressive reform agenda.

In recent weeks, Gov. Cuomo angered teachers and parents after he made remarks indicating that he saw the state’s public school system as a “monopoly” that had to be busted.  Gov. Cuomo also belittled the Working Families Party as a “fringe” third party.  Lingering resentment still exists over Gov. Cuomo's years-long, scorched-earth campaign of Medicaid cuts and hospital closings that led to the closure of Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn.

In spite these and other warning signs, leaders of the Working Families Party remained resolved in their support of Gov. Cuomo -- even as many liberals have found fault with Gov. Cuomo's borderline neoliberal/neoconservative economic agenda.

Now that the Working Families Party created the monster that is sure to become of Gov. Cuomo's second term, party leaders want to criticise Gov. Cuomo for his political shortcomings.

Party leaders were certain that Gov. Cuomo would honor the corrupt backroom deal that created a quid pro quo of the party's endorsement for State Senate control.  Too bad such a corrupt deal is not legally enforceable.  

In the wake of the bad deal made by the Working Families Party, an opportunity was created for a principled political party to move to the left of the Working Families Party, and that's exactly what happened when the Green Party, led by Howie Hawkins, garnered more votes than the Working Families Party.

Government reform activists have blamed the Working Families Party for enabling Gov. Cuomo and his culture of backroom political machinations that is at the root cause of so much corruption up in Albany.  The troubled endorsement deal was called rancid in the immediate aftermath of its having been made.  If party leaders are looking for somebody to somebody to blame for a backroom endorsement deal gone bad, government reform actives suggest that perhaps party leaders should meet with the politician, who helped to package that deal together ?