NYSUT is holding a protest demonstration outside the governor's mansion in Albany today:
The demonstration is ostensibly a protest against Cuomo's veto of the teacher evaluation "safety net" bill Cuomo himself had pushed prior to the election to shield teachers from Common Core test scores in their APPR evaluation ratings.
Cuomo made a deal with NYSUT over the "safety net" late in the spring, but never signed the bill into law.
Like many "deals" Cuomo has made lately (like the one he made with Working Families Party to push for a Democratic-controlled State Senate in return for the WFP ballot line), Cuomo had no intention of keeping his end of the bargain - that's why he never signed the "safety net" bill into law.
Cuomo waited until the end of the legislative session to veto the bill, using the mysteriously delayed release of the statewide APPR teacher evaluation ratings by NYSED as the excuse for the veto - he said so few teachers had been found "ineffective" by the APPR system that the "safety net" bill was not needed.
This veto came two days after Cuomo vetoed a Port Authority reform bill that had passed four houses in two different state legislatures, 612-0, that would have brought historic and much needed change to the way the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates.
The PA has a budget larger than 26 states, but no accountability or transparency to the citizens of either state - it is entirely controlled by the NY and NJ governors.
Cuomo and his pal in crime and corruption, Governor Chris Christie, met last Tuesday to hatch a plan to veto the Port Authority reform bill and push their own "faux" reform that some astute observers believe has no chance to ever be enacted into law.
Cuomo, knowing that he would take a political hit for vetoing the PA reform bill, tried to hide the veto by issuing it on Saturday night during Christmas weekend, a time when few would be paying attention to politics.
Even more damning, when Cuomo released a press statement on Saturday night about the "faux reforms" he and Christie were pushing for the Port Authority, he hid the news of his PA reform bill veto in the last paragraph of the press release - so deep down in the statement that NY 1 staff couldn't figure out if he had actually vetoed the legislation or not.
How's that for a profile in political courage from Andrew Cuomo?
While Cuomo and Christie were hatching this plan to maintain the PA as their personal fiefdom and piggy bank, Cuomo was also planning to veto a bill that would extend tax credits to remediate toxic waste sites.
This tax credit extension veto, like the "safety net" bill veto, was a reversal of course, since Cuomo had said six months before that he would approve the extension while pushing for "reforms" to the program in the next legislative session.
It's an amazing amount of damage that Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has done to the State of New York (and New Jersey, for that matter) in the course of just a few days time.
He has broken promises twice - once to teachers over the "safety net" bill, once to citizens of New York over the environmental clean-up tax credit extension - and has destroyed reform legislation for the Port Authority that was passed 612-0 by legislators in two states and pushed his own "faux" reform plan that has little chance to pass.
He has tried to hide his dirty deeds by pulling them at the end of the year, between Christmas and New Years, when many people are engaged with family and not paying attention to the political landscape, but teachers were paying attention and they intend to let Cuomo know it today at the Executive Mansion when Cuomo holds his annual New Years Eve Open House.
This is the right strategy - to take Cuomo on directly.
The only way to deal with a criminal and a bully like Andrew Cuomo is to take him on, right to his face, and keep on taking him on.
Cuomo does not understand compromise (he views it as weakness), his promises are worthless (as we have seen demonstrated twice in the last week alone) and he will never do the right thing for the citizens of the State of New York unless he is forced to do it by political pressure.
Cuomo himself indicated this when he said it was the constant badgering and haranguing by anti-fracking protesters that helped bring about the anti-fracking ban in New York State.
There's a terrific lesson in how the anti-fracking movement pushed Cuomo on the issue and made him do the right thing.
Cuomo feared the anti-fracking protesters and in the end, after years of being followed all around the state by anti-frackers with placards and signs, ceded ground on that issue.
If parents and teachers mount protests against Andrew Cuomo again and again, wherever he appears, hitting him on his hypocrisy over Common Core, over the Endless Testing regime he is pursuing in this state, over the evaluation system that causes so much of the overtesting to begin with, over his deliberately underfunding many school districts while the state imposes more and more mandates on them, and over his taking millions from charter school advocates and operators and pushing to greatly expand charter schools around the state, you will see an Andrew Cuomo in fear, an Andrew Cuomo on his heels, and Andrew Cuomo shrinking from the fight - just as you did in the fracking battle.
Andrew Cuomo is a bully and the only way to handle a bully is to stand up to him directly in a fight.
Today's anti-Cuomo protest at the Executive Mansion in Albany is ostensibly about Cuomo's veto of the "safety net" bill, but it's really about so much else too - his attacks on the public education system, his disdain for parents and teachers, his promotion of the Common Core and testing (even as he claims to be on the side of parents on this issue), his advocating for charter schools as he sucks up millions in charter school supporters campaign donations, his criminality and corruption.
When it comes to Andrew Cuomo, there's a lot to protest - so have at it, folks.
It's #CallOutCuomo time.