Without being present, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo became something of a piñata during a town-hall style teleconference call hosted tonight by the Working Families Party in which the organization’s officials from around the state took part.
Cuomo ran in 2010 with WFP support but that is far from assured this time out after the party, which made comprehensive public campaign financing an acid test for support, condemned a widely-criticized "pilot" program that affects only this year’s comptroller’s race. This was enacted in the budget with Cuomo's backing.
Ron Mangeri from Dutchess County declared, "there is no way possible that I could support this governor and I hope that when a decision is made we do not support him under any circumstances.”
I feel the same way about Governor Cuomo - there is no possible way I can support him and when the Working Families Party makes a decision about endorsing, I hope they do not support Cuomo under any circumstances.
In fact, Howie Hawkins, the 2010 Green Party candidate who announced his intention to seek the Green Party nomination this year, raised an intriguing idea:
If Working Families really wanted to do a serious protest to Cuomo and wanted to run me to send him a message, I would say let's sit down and talk. If they were serious and we could trust each other, then I would go back to the state party and say, let's write an exception to our rule for this race and really have a big protest to what Cuomo is doing. I don't think Working Families would do that, because their main strategy is to influence the Democrats.
I tend to agree with Hawkins, the WFP strategy is primarily to work with the Dems and were it not for their deal with Cuomo last time around, the party would have followed the Liberal Party into obscurity here in NY.
Still, there's an awful lot of anger out there at Cuomo from people on the left and it's probably going to find an outlet somewhere - if not WFP, then the Greens.