Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Why Cuomo Can Be Beat In His Coming Assault On Public Education

At the end of Jeff Smith's entertaining and astute review of Andrew Cuomo's memoir comes this:

Ebola antics aside, Andrew Cuomo will win reelection comfortably next week, but he has almost never looked weaker, especially with an open federal investigation grinding away. And that’s a fact that he’ll have plenty of time to chew over during the months ahead, as he and Ms. Lee nibble on fresh, locally sourced home-cooked meals at the Governor’s Mansion for the next four years.

Under investigation by a federal prosecutor and publicly warned by the same federal prosecutor to stop tampering with that investigation.

A punchline on The Daily Show for his fumbling, stumbling Ebola response this past week.

Reviled by people on the left in the state, 34% of whom voted for Zephyr Teachout in September's primary - the highest total for any challenger to a sitting governor in a primary since the current system was first instituted.

Reviled by parents and educators for his education policies, many of whom are vowing to vote for one of Cuomo's two opponents next week - Republican Rob Astorino or Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins.

Cuomo attacked teachers and schools yesterday when he threatened to "break" the public school system and impose "more rigorous" teacher evaluations with "sanctions" on teachers already struggling under his nightmarish APPR evaluation system.

The NYSUT leadership waved a flag of surrender in the face of that attack.

The AFT and UFT response was muted as well.

So Cuomo's not going to get much pushback on his coming attacks from the union leaders.

But judging by the outrage I saw on the Internet and heard at school yesterday, he's going to get a lot from ordinary people.

And given all the other trouble Cuomo's got (and he's got trouble - his campaign has asked for helped from Bill Clinton this week on the campaign trail, suggesting his internal polling is showing a closer race than the public polls have so far shown), that pushback from ordinary people, teachers and parents, can stand for a lot.

This is NOT the Cuomo of the first term, with an 80% approval rating that allowed him to govern with a "My way or your roadkill" mentality.

This is the Cuomo under federal investigation, the Cuomo who groveled to the Working Families Party in May for their ballot line, then lost half the counties in the state in his primary anyway, the Cuomo who's become a punchline on TV and a punching bag in the newspapers.

This is the Cuomo so scared of his standing with the public that he attempted to look tough with his Ebola response and instead just looked weak and desperate.

This is the Cuomo in enough trouble in this election that he needs Bill Clinton to save him in the days before voting.

This is the Cuomo that CAN be beaten in a battle over education policy.

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