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Cuomo and the W.F.P. game

September 9, 2010

Cuomo: Party must toe line

By JIMMY VIELKIND Capitol Bureau
Published: 12:00 a.m., Thursday, September 9, 2010

ALBANY — Andrew Cuomo sent a message Wednesday to the Working Families Party: If I am to be your head, you must become my body.

“I have to decide, do I want to head the party?” the Democratic gubernatorial candidate said during an interview on WGDJ Talk 1300. “They would be supporting my platform, and my platform here is going to be very specific.”

The labor-backed, left-leaning Working Families Party had previously asked Cuomo to be its standard-bearer, but he demurred earlier this summer — citing an ongoing investigation by federal prosecutors into whether the party improperly commingled activities with two of its affiliates, a for-profit company and a not-for-profit foundation.

The investigation resulted in no charges of wrongdoing, Cuomo acknowledged. Nevertheless, the WFP’s overtures presented him with a new dilemma: His “New Democratic Party” platform includes a pledge not to raise taxes and a promise to enact legislation capping future increases in local property taxes that directly contradict WFP tenets which seek more funding for education and social welfare programs by raising taxes on the wealthy.

(Note: the convenient timing in this investigation being dropped is vertainly suspect. In addition it should be pointed out that this was only with regard to what they were charged with at the time, and it has since been learned that there may be new charges coming as there are still other unresolved allegations against the WFP and affliates. our emphasis added)

WFP spokesman Dan Levitan declined to comment, but a source inside the WFP said its executive committee is considering Cuomo’s stance. Given his lead in the polls and the absence of a Democratic primary challenger, Cuomo can afford to dictate terms.

He doesn’t stand to lose a lot of votes by declining the WFP line, having already secured the Independence and Democratic party lines. Unchallenged in the Democratic primary, Cuomo does not need the WFP’s validation that he is sufficiently progressive enough to encapsulate the entire spectrum of Democrats. It’s a tension he has grappled with at several points in his campaign.

The stakes are higher for the WFP. Position on voting ballots for the next four years is determined by the number of votes a party’s gubernatorial candidate receives. The WFP is currently fifth on the list, and it was hoping to rise this election cycle. Lacking Cuomo — the WFP nominated Kenny Schaeffer, a little-known Harlem lawyer, as a placeholder earlier this summer — might put that plan in peril. If a party’s standard-bearer doesn’t get 50,000 votes it loses its automatic ballot status, a change that’s seen by many as a deadly blow.

Cuomo could be placed on the WFP ballot if Schaeffer accepted the nomination for a judgeship later this month. Another, better-known candidate could also be substituted.

Cuomo has written several opinion pieces about the need to build a coalition, and on the radio explained that he was already looking beyond his November election. Polls show Cuomo leading both Rick Lazio and Carl Paladino, his potential Republican opponents, as well as all other minor-party candidates. He campaign war chest dwarfs those of all of his rivals except Paladino, a wealthy developer who has pledged to spend $10 million on his campaign and is worth an estimated $150 million.

“Election Day is only a means to the end, and the end is really … changing the status quo in January,” Cuomo said. “Put that coalition together now. That’s my big-tent theory of this campaign. … I want to put together a coalition that can get an agenda passed by the Legislature and overcome the institutional opposition that has stymied this state for a decade.”

New Yorkers for Growth, a business group opposed to the WFP’s agenda, suggested Cuomo was a hypocrite for playing “footsie” with the party.

“He can’t put out a 200-page-plus fiscal reform agenda during the day, and then climb into bed with the WFP at night,” said former Larchmont Mayor Liz Feld, the group’s spokeswoman. “Does Andrew Cuomo think New York voters are that naive? If he accepts the WFP line, voters can put Mr. Cuomo’s fiscal reform plan right in the shredder.”

NYFG Releases “Dose of Reality” Web Ad
New Yorkers for Growth
Thursday, September 9, 2010

New York, NY – September 9… New Yorkers for Growth, a political action committee dedicated to returning New York State to firm fiscal footing, today released a new web ad as part of its “W.F.P. Spells O.U.T.- Out!” marketing campaign announced last month. The new ad, titled “Dose of Reality” criticizes Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo for toying with running on the Working Families Party line while claiming to be a fiscal reformer.

You can view the ad on YouTube here.

NYFG Releases ‘Doors Work Both Ways’ in Second W.F.P.=O.U.T. Web Ad
New Yorkers for Growth
Monday, August 23, 2010

New York, NY – August 23… New Yorkers for Growth, a political action committee dedicated to returning New York State to firm fiscal footing, today released the second web ad of its “W.F.P. Spells O.U.T.- Out!” marketing campaign announced last week. The new ad, titled “Doors Work Both Ways” urges voters to oust long-time incumbents that have enjoyed nearly certain chances for re-election in New York State, leading to reckless spending and high taxes.

You can view the ad on YouTube here.

New Yorkers for Growth Announces “W. F. P.= O-U-T Out!” Campaign
New Yorkers for Growth
Tuesday, August 17, 2010

New York, NY – August 17. . .Candidates for public office running on New York’s Working Families Party line (WFP) are now indelibly tagged as advocates for higher taxes, higher spending, and higher debt in New York State, fiscal reform group New Yorkers for Growth today charged. New Yorkers for Growth made its remarks in announcing a multi-channel guerilla marketing campaign called “W. F. P. = O. U. T. – Out!”, which the group will roll out to New Yorkers between now and November 2nd, Election Day. The campaign will include web videos, social networking, and paid media. New Yorkers for Growth Demands that Attorney General Andrew Cuomo FINALLY INVESTIGATE Working Families Party Amid New Allegations of Fraud and Corruption
New Yorkers for Growth
Monday, July 12, 2010

Today’s New York Post article highlighting new allegations of fraud and corruption within the Working Families Party demands full investigation by the Office of New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo (D-I), the fiscal reform group New Yorkers for Growth today said.

$500 Prize
New Yorkers for Growth
Monday, May 24, 2010

Closest Guess on Andrew Cuomo’s WFP Explanation Wins

New York, NY-May 24…Attorney General Andrew Cuomo (D) just got through explaining how he “will be taking on very powerful special interests” as New York’s next governor, but he is reportedly poised to accept the nomination of the mother of all special interests, the so-called “Working Families Party (WFP).” Mr. Cuomo accepted the WFP line in 2006.

Daily News and The New York Post Agree:
Andrew Cuomo Cannot Accept Working Families Party Line

New Yorkers for Growth
Monday, May 17, 2010

Major Newspapers Join New Yorkers for Growth in Call on Cuomo to Reject
Embattled Special-Interests Party

New York, NY-May 17…Soon-to-be gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo (D) cannot accept the endorsement of the embattled “Working Families Party” (WFP) and purport to be a reformer at the same time (who can?).  That is now the conclusion of two major New York daily newspapers – The New York Post  and the Daily News – and fiscal reform group New Yorkers for Growth, which has been urging Attorney General Cuomo to investigate the WFP since last May.

Will He or Won’t He? Cuomo’s Fork in the Road
New Yorkers for Growth
Thursday, May 13, 2010

New York, NY–May 13… Andrew Cuomo is faced with a stark choice next month: He can demonstrate his commitment to fiscal and ethics reform by rejecting the Working Families Party line this year, or he will send a clear signal to taxpayers that it will be business as usual under a Cuomo Administration, fiscal reform group New Yorkers for Growth today said.

New York Post Joins Call on Andrew Cuomo to Reject Working Families Party Line
New Yorkers for Growth
Monday, April 26, 2010

  • Follows New Yorkers for Growth Television Spot Highlighting
  • Cuomo’s Refusal to Investigate WFP Allegations

If Andrew Cuomo truly plans to clean up the “cesspool” in Albany, he must reject the Working Families Party ballot line, wrote the editors of the New York Post today.


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