A day after securing the nomination of the Working Families Party, Gov. Cuomo said his support for their liberal agenda only goes so far.
Cuomo, who endorsed a higher minimum wage with an option for localities to hike it further based on cost of living in his video message to the convention, said he still opposes complete local control of the minimum wage.
“I oppose municipalities being able to set their own wage. I did and I do,” he said. “I would allow localities within a state-prescribed formula to adjust a local wage but not that the locality gets to set the rate wherever they want. I'm against that. I was against it. I am against it.”
He also said his support for Senate candidates would be based on who supported his agenda, not down the line support for Democratic candidates.
“This is about electing people who support an agenda. I also will oppose Democrats who will oppose the things we try to pass,” he said. “I've been trying to support something called the Women's Equality Act that protects a woman's right to choose in New York. There are Democrats who don't support that. It's not as easy as all Democrats are good, all Republicans are bad, or vice versa. You have to also look at the issues and where people stand on the issues and that's what voters should be doing.”
In short, he's creating some wiggling room to wiggle out of what he promised in order to get the WFP ballot line.
And this shouldn't be a surprise to anybody who has watched closely over the past few days.
Even last night, as he was making the video that was to be shown at the WFP convention where he detailed all the parts of the party's agenda that he would be supporting as part of the endorsement deal, he showed how he was going to try and wiggle out of some promises:
The party’s endorsement of Cuomo wasn’t sewn up until moments before it was announced, said sources involved in the negotiations. One of the W.F.P.’s conditions for the endorsement was Cuomo’s public embrace of every element of the party’s platform, including a plan for Democrats to re-take the State Senate, and a slate of progressive legislation, including an increase in the minimum wage, the Womens’ Equality Act and the Dream Act. Party leaders haggled in the early afternoon in an attempt to get Cuomo to appear in person, but he opted instead to send a video and then call into the convention via Skype.
Sources said the first video Cuomo’s campaign sent did not include all the planks of the platform, touching off a tense last-minute fight between party leaders and the governor’s campaign.
The W.F.P. heads demanded another video.
Sources said party leaders including Karen Scharff, as well as Bill de Blasio aide Emma Wolfe, were on the phone with Cuomo campaign officials minutes before the endorsement was supposed to be announced, threatening to push for an endorsement of Teachout unless the video was improved.
Cuomo will mostly play nice with the WFP agenda for now, but he won't work very hard to get that Democratic-led State Senate the WFP heads and union leaders were crowing about and once he wins re-election, he will renege on much of this deal and retaliate against WFP rank-and-file for making him grovel by video and speaker phone for the WFP nomination.
You can bet on that just as much as you can bet on Cuomo's re-election victory.