Democratic insiders say a key reason Cuomo is seeking Republican “moderate’’ support is the erosion of support from his own Democratic Party’s “progressive’’ or left wing, with his estrangement from Mayor Bill de Blasio being the best example.
Cuomo has also been clashing for months with Attorney General Eric Schneiderman — as outlined most recently in a New York Times story last week — as well as state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, the insiders say.
“Cuomo is trying to backfill his Democratic loses with Republicans from Long Island and the suburbs,’’ was how a leading Democratic strategist put it.
Cuomo is also on the outs with the leaders of the state’s influential Black and Puerto Rican legislative caucus — who opposed his proposed election-year tax cuts — as well as many of the state’s most powerful public-sector unions. “What struck me most in Albany is that people no longer seem to be afraid of the governor, as they once were,’’ said an influential Democrat.
Cuomo's worried on two fronts:
First, he needs to win his re-election bid by a large enough number so that he can tout his victory to the national political pundits as proof positive he is a viable candidate for 2016.
He doesn't care if those numbers come from moderate Republicans or progressive Democrats - he just needs the numbers that give him a fairly impressive vote total in November.
What this tells me is that if parents and teachers continue to hit him over his education reform agenda over and over and over at every campaign stop he makes this year, he will take notice.
So far, he's managed to avoid a political hit from the Common Core/APPR/inBloom fall-out, but that won't go on forever.
The anger and frustration that Tisch and King got at their Gospel of the Common Core tour events can and should be aimed at Cuomo too - particularly as he starts to make campaign event appearances and the like.
Believe me, if parents and teachers show up at every event and protest Cuomo's reform agenda, you'll get a reaction out of him.
Second, that people in Albany no longer seem afraid of the governor as they once were should tell you that if enough political pressure is put on other pols in the Legislature and they see there is a political price to be paid for continuing to support the CCSS, APPR, inBloom, et al., they will break with Cuomo and his ed deform agenda.
This is a key year to make the case that the Cuomo/SED/Regents reform agenda is harmful to students, teachers and schools and must be stopped.
Election years give you leverage that you won't have next year after Cuomo gets re-elected and sets his sights on the White House in 2016.
It's important to make the most of this opportunity this year.