Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Why The UFT Will Probably Back Cuomo

James Eterno at ICEUFT today:

Michael Bloomberg, the anti-public education mayor, has left office after twelve years where he almost destroyed our public schools.  An anti-public education, anti-worker governor of New York State, Andrew Cuomo, is up for reelection later this year.  On Wednesday at the UFT Delegate Assembly, I introduced a resolution for the UFT to outright reject any possible Cuomo endorsement or campaign contributions.  Although I received significant applause and votes, the Unity  dominated Delegate Assembly voted against  a blanket repudiation of Cuomo.  Here is the language of the motion:

Whereas, Governor Andrew Cuomo by supporting an unfair teacher evaluation system, an inferior Tier 6 pension and untested Common Core Standards has shown he is no friend to public education or workers; be it

Resolved, that the UFT not endorse Cuomo's reelection nor provide him with any COPE money.
The bulk of the votes against this motion came from the center of the room where the Unity officers and many of the retirees usually are seated.  The sides of the room where the rank and file is better represented seemed to show much more enthusiasm for our proposal.

Why would the UFT even think about endorsing Cuomo this year?

FEAR - that's why:

ALBANY—Gov. Andrew Cuomo raised just over $7 million in the last six months and has $33.3 million on hand for the 2014 election, according to campaign disclosures filed Wednesday.

The campaign spent just over $1.5 million during the same period, which included a fund-raising trip to the Podesta Group in Washington, D.C., and a birthday bash at Roseland Ballroom featuring Billy Joel. Cuomo is expected to have more money on hand than any other governor in the country for his re-election this year.

This gives Cuomo a solid financial advantage over any of his likely Republican opponents, including Donald Trump, who is flirting with a run. The filing shows checks from the usual smattering of campaign interests, including real estate magnates, business leaders, major labor groups and longtime associates.

Cuomo, like Christie in New Jersey, runs his office through FEAR - do what he wants or he will retaliate against you.

His retaliation tactics are slightly more subtle than Christie's (see here for Christie's subtlety), but the strategy is the same - if you don't support Sheriff Andy for re-election, you will find yourself under attack in 2015.

Frankly, even if you do support Sheriff Andy in 2014, you can find yourself under attack from Sheriff Andy in 2015.

That's the thing with Andy - supporting him now gives you no guarantee he won't screw you in the future.

The APPR imposition is the best example of that.


  1. I don't follow how APPR is an example of the governor screwing us in spite of our support since we did not support him in his first election. AFL-CIO wanted to support Cuomo and Dick Ianuzzi did not. Dick acquiesced in allowing AFL-CIO to go ahead (I guess due to the size of NYSUT we could have blocked it), but there was not a NYSUT endorsement. If one follows your logic, APPR could be the punishment for not backing him in 2010.

  2. I absolutely do not understand why the UFT or NYSUT should endorse or not endorse Cuomo--who the hell cares? It will make not one whit of difference if we don't (he's unlikely to have anything more than nominal opposition--Rob Astrorino, Westchester County Executive--and the blowout win he wants in case Hillary doesn't run in 2016. The UFT went no endorsement in 2009 and Thompson came within 5 points. The UFT endorsed Thompson in 2013 and he got blown away by 16 points. Our union leaders have shown a remarkable and tenacious ineptitude at making political endorsements, or not. I couldn't care less whether the UFT or NYSUT endorses Cuomo or not this year--it won't make any difference to any working teacher in the least. So endorse and be done with it--please just don't spend millions of my COPE money to do it with.

  3. There's a difference for Thompson in 2013:
    blogs and the amount of public attention to them has metastasized from 2009 to 2013. I'd bet that teachers and their allies got much more conscious of the flaws of Thompson in 2013 (like Merryl Tisch connections).

    Otherwise, agreed: NO to COPE $ for viciously anti-teacher and anti-pub employee pension Cuomo.