As the Working Families Party prepares to meet in Albany on Saturday to select law professor Zephyr Teachout as its gubernatorial candidate, an 11th-hour deal is being hashed out between the party and governor Andrew Cuomo that could leave that plan in shambles. According to numerous sources, talks are heating up Friday evening and a deal “could be imminent” that results in Cuomo getting the party’s ballot line. The line is particularly important to Cuomo because it would mean eliminating a vocal critic on his left, and would mean avoiding splitting votes with a candidate who polls showed could split his margin of victory in half.
One source cautioned that any arrangement reached between the sides would still have to be approved by the WFP’s state committee tomorrow, which is composed of activists who are not fond of Cuomo.
As for the contours of the deal, they would appear to include a shift by the governor that would include declaring a new progressive agenda, expressing a newfound devotion to key planks of the party’s platform such as public financing of elections, a DREAM Act and a minimum wage increase. To overcome the problem of much of the party not trusting the governor’s word, the agenda would be unveiled at a big public event with WFP allies, perhaps as soon as this weekend, in which the governor would stand with key players of the state’s institutional left (including de Blasio) — and declare his support for it.
And as soon as the deal is announced, Cuomo will begin to look for ways to finagle out of it.
Again, not surprised that the Cuomo/WFP melodrama would end this way.
But it's disappointing nonetheless.
It looks like the UFT leadership was behind sticking the shiv into WFP rank-and-file earlier by threatening to pull back union funds for the party if Cuomo was not given the endorsement.
And out of the "move left" that WFP and the unions get for the endorsement?
No movement on education issues at all - at least not publicly.
I suspect we'll get some jive-ass change to APPR before the end of the legislative session next month, but the reality is, Cuomo gives up nothing tangible to get this endorsement.
Nonetheless, the showdown with WFP members will be remembered by liberals and progressives if he tries to run for president.