Gov. Cuomo’s “fantastic’’ candidate in the important Nov. 3 special state Senate election will be “crushed’’ by her Republican opponent because Cuomo reneged on his pledge to go all out to help, senior Democrats have told The Post.
“Cuomo’s great candidate, Barbara Fiala, is going to get crushed on Election Day, and we all know why — he hardly lifted a finger,’’ said a prominent Democratic strategist, referring to Cuomo’s former Motor Vehicles commissioner, whom the governor picked in July to run for the Binghamton-area seat left vacant by the corruption conviction of Deputy Senate Majority Leader Tom Libous, a Republican.
Cuomo’s selection of Fiala — who he claimed “would be fantastic as a candidate” — was widely seen as significant because of the widespread view among Democrats that the governor has worked for years to keep the GOP in control of the Senate in order to strengthen his overall control of the Legislature.
Senate Democrats had been told to expect Cuomo to raise at least $100,000 for Fiala’s campaign — a drop in the bucket for Cuomo’s cash-rich campaign machine — but as of the weekend, nothing approaching that amount had arrived, a source close to the campaign said.
Cuomo faced a surprisingly strong Democratic primary challenge from little-known leftist law professor Zephyr Teachout last year partly because he was seen by Democratic activists as having kept Republicans in narrow control of the Senate.
Many Republicans also believe Cuomo has long had a peace pact with Senate Republicans, but few, besides Assemblyman Bill Nojay (R-Rochester) have been willing to discuss the arrangement publicly.
“Fiala’s clueless and underfunded campaign is clearly part of a deal between Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan [R-Suffolk] and the GOP senators to protect the former Libous seat,’’ said Nojay, who has watched the special Senate race closely.
“This is consistent with Cuomo’s strategy going back to 2011-2012 with the redistricting deals that ensure GOP control of the Senate in exchange for GOP senators rolling over on key Cuomo initiatives such as the 2012 tax hikes, gay marriage, the SAFE [gun-control] Act, and budget deals.
“So once again Cuomo has double-crossed the Working Families Party and his own Democratic Party by tacitly supporting continued GOP control of the Senate rather than turning the leadership of the body over to Senate liberals who might embarrass him or go rogue by teaming up with the New York City Democrats who run the Assembly,’’ Nojay continued.
Fiala's been a disaster as a candidate, but let's remember that it was Cuomo who touted her before she even announced a run and it was Cuomo who promised to help her win the Libous seat, then reneged on the promise.
Another example, as if we needed it, of how Governor Cuomo is a member of a party of one - the Cuomo Party.