All of this is fine, dandy and absolutely meaningless.
I want to remind everybody that when it mattered, when Andrew Cuomo absolutely needed the union leadership - including the newly minted NYSUT leadership - to back him, they did.
That was during the weekend when it looked like Working Families Party might actually endorse Zephyr Teachout over Cuomo for the general election.
Polls had shown that Cuomo was running away with the race against his GOP opponent Rob Astorino - unless a third party candidate from the left entered the general election.
Then polls showed this:
Major elections in the United States are almost always two-party affairs. Yes, third-party candidates run, but they’re rarely competitive, and they almost never win. Still, there are exceptions, and the 2014 New York governor’s race may be one of them.
The progressive Working Families Party perceives Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo to be too centrist, and it will decide this weekend whether to field its own candidate instead of cross-endorsing Cuomo. (New York allows candidates to appear on multiple ballot lines.) An opponent from his left could put Cuomo’s re-election bid in at least some danger.
An average of early polls by Quinnipiac University and Siena College shows the governor garnering 38 percent support, Republican Rob Astorino 24 percent and an unnamed Working Families Party candidate 23 percent. That’s down from Cuomo’s average lead of about 30 percentage points over Astorino in a two-way affair.
As I detailed earlier this week, early gubernatorial polling of two-way matchups is pretty reliable — 30 percentage point leads are nearly impossible to overcome. But an early-stage 14 percentage point lead in a three-way contest may be a different story.
Cuomo was desperate to avoid that third party candidate from the left and his union allies were happy to oblige by threatening WFP activists that if the party nominated Zephyr Teachout over Andrew Cuomo, they would defund the party:
When Working Families Party state committee members gather at their convention tomorrow, far more than the endorsement for governor will be at stake.
The very future of the labor-backed party will be on the line, and according to one labor source, the damage done by the disagreement over whether or not to back Gov. Andrew Cuomo again may very well be irreparable.
“Regardless of what happens now, the way the party has conducted itself has done lasting damage to relationships with key (union) affiliates,” the source said. “It’s unclear if the party will ever be the same.”Union leaders were burning up the phone lines this morning, discussing whether the time had finally come to pull their support of the party they helped create and have financially sustained since 1998.
According to another labor source involved in these talks, a number of the largest and most significant unions – including 1199 SEIU, HTC, the laborers, RWDSU, and the UFT – were prepared to call it quits with the WFP, knowing that their withdrawal could very well lead to the party’s “collapse.”
The Teamsters and TWU were also involved in these discussions, which were far enough along to warrant talk of drafting of a joint statement, although one was never actually released.
The UFT controls NYSUT - it was the UFT leadership, backed by Randi Weingarten, who instituted the Spring Time Putsch that dethroned the previous NYSUT leadership and replaced them with pro-Cuomo shills.
The Spring Time Putsch was all about making sure that the suddenly aggressive old NYSUT leadership would be replaced by a more compliant Cuomo-friendly leadership - which is exactly what happened.
That the UFT was part of the union leadership that threatened WFP if Teachout was endorsed and was behind the NYSUT putsch to get rid of the old regime that had turned on Cuomo tells you all you need to know about how much they've already helped Andrew Cuomo.
An endorsement by the UFT, the NYSUT or the AFL-CIO is not needed at this time because all the help Cuomo needed to win re-election - keeping a third party candidate from the left out of the general election race - was engineered by the unions, including the UFT and the NYSUT, last spring.