At the time of its annual gala last year, the Working Families Party was agonizing over whether to deny Governor Andrew Cuomo its ballot line.
Ultimately the party endorsed him. But at this year's gala, members sounded regretful.
"This unsavory alliance between our governor and a Senate Republican conference propped up by real estate and hedge fund billionaires must be broken," said W.F.P. president Bill Lipton during his remarks. "We will hold the governor accountable for the promises he made last year. We have not forgotten those hard-won commitments."
"We made a decision [to endorse him] at the time because we believed that it was more important to flip the State Senate," he elaborated later to a few reporters. "We fell short, the governor did not do what we hoped—what he said—he was going to do to help us. He's admitted that. Obviously we're deeply disappointed and frustrated with that. I think us going forward, we don't forget these things. We're committed next year to actually flipping the Senate and picking up that agenda right where it left and pressuring the governor to work with us."
One of the "promises" WFP extracted from Cuomo in return for the WFP ballot nod was that Cuomo would work toward flipping the state Senate to Democrats.
It was clear even as Cuomo was making that promise that he had no intention of keeping it and did not want Republicans to lose control of the state Senate.
Cuomo worked closely with Senate Republicans during his first term on many of his proposals, including the SAFE Act, the property tax cap, and education reforms.
There was little doubt he wanted the Senate to remain in the hands of the GOP and would do little or nothing to fulfill his promise to WFP and de Blasio (who helped seal the deal between Cuomo and WFP.)
And of course that is exactly how things played out - Cuomo did nothing to help Dems, the GOP won the Senate outright (though the sellout Dems in the IDC continued to caucus with the GOP) and Cuomo continued to work very closely with Senate Republicans this legislative session - especially on rent regulation and education reform.
Lipton and the rest of the WFP elders (and their union funders who pushed for the Cuomo nod) are full of shit when they criticize Cuomo for selling out their interests.
It was clear this would happen last year when WFP was agonizing over whether to endorse Cuomo or not and their union funders were threatening the party with dissolution if they didn't.
If they wanted to stop Cuomo from screwing them, they should have done damage to him last May by putting Zephyr Teachout on their ballot and forcing Cuomo to take on both a GOP challenger and a challenger from the left in the general election in November.
So spare me when I hear the WFP sellouts talk about holding Cuomo accountable for the promises he made to them and broke.
It's self-serving bullshit from the WFP sellouts, nothing more, and Cuomo's laughing at it and them.