By LOUIS FLORES
The reëlection of Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) is a feather in the rumpled cap of former New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
The former Council speaker was the female face of the public relations campaign behind the launch of the Women's Equality Party, a special purpose vehicle created by Gov. Cuomo, to scare women into voting for the Democratic Party incumbent over his Republican Party rival, County Executive Rob Astorino (R-Westchester).
The professed focus of the Women's Equality Party is to enact a 10-point legislative agenda, the most challenging of which is codifying into state law the reproductive rights from the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade. In a state, where Democrats are a super-majority of voters, this should not be difficult. However, upstate conservative Republicans oppose codifying late-term abortions, a predictable response that the committee to reelect the governor was prepared to exploit in a get out the vote effort amongst women, which worked : Gov. Cuomo won about two-thirds of votes cast by women, according to electoral analysis by the Associated Press.
Notwithstanding the focus on women's rights, the true nature of the Women's Equality Party was revealed when The New York Observer reported that 11 of the 17 candidates that the Women's Equality Party endorsed were men. The Web site maintained by the Women's Equality Party does not identify the candidates it endorsed. In the face of criticism over the minority of women endorsed by the party, former Speaker Quinn invoked cognitive dissonance by pointing to Gov. Cuomo's daughters. Former Speaker Quinn, who last year blatantly waged a mayoral campaign based on identity politics, gave the astroturf political party credibility with the media by giving the party a known female face, if nothing else.
Since the Women's Equality Party received greater than 50,000 votes, it now automatically wins a permanent place on the state-wide ballots for the next four years, according to state election laws.
In a reversal of fortune, as former Speaker Quinn was celebrating her manufactured political win, her arch nemesis, Mayor Bill de Blasio, came under intense criticism over the Republican Party take-over of the State Senate. Mayor de Blasio had deployed his key aide, Emma Wolfe, and had extracted nearly unlimited campaign contributions from Wall Street titans, such as Jonathan Soros, and from the leftist press, such as Katrina vanden Heuvel -- money, some of which, was funneled through a Putnam County Democratic Party committee account for the ultimate benefit of failed upstate Democratic State Senate races.
Adding to the political infighting between Democrats in the aftermath of the election, the Working Families Party, which bestowed its endorsement on Gov. Cuomo, now feels it was scammed and is waging a campaign of political backlash to exact a public relations revenge.