For those who believe that Gov. Andrew Cuomo does not have the progressive credentials to receive the endorsement of the leftist, union-backed Working Families Party, Mayor Bill de Blasio made the case for his pal today at a press conference on Staten Island.
In light of a Daily News report Tuesday that de Blasio and Cuomo met with the Working Families Party, the mayor was asked why he felt the party should give their ballot line to Cuomo considering he has stonewalled some of the party's progressive priorities.
"We don’t have to agree on everything to still believe that we’re doing a lot of great work together," de Blasio said. "And in a clear majority of cases, we are on the same page and we want to go in the same direction. So what I’ve said publically – and I’ve said it to my friends at the WFP – is this governor is taking us in the direction that I believe in, and that I think is consistent with a progressive philosophy."
De Blasio then played the role of Cuomo's campaign spokesperson, rattling off a list of the governor's accomplishment that fit comfortably with the party's agenda, including universal pre-K--despite the fact that the governor did not support de Blasio's tax on the rich to pay for the program--same sex marriage, the HIV/AIDS rent cap, and the mayor's Vision Zero transportation platform, among other initiatives.
"From my perspective, New York City and the progressive agenda that we’re pursuing are being very well served right now and supported by this governor," de Blasio said.
Cuomo followed up the mayor's remarks by noting that the Working Families Party endorsed him and his platform four years ago when he was running for governor, and that while there are certain areas where he and the party leadership do not see eye to eye, he believes that "we have progressive accomplishments in this state that resonated across the nation."
Of course, four years ago the WFP was embroiled in a federal investigation, so it is safe to say that Cuomo carrying their ballot line was a way for the party to retain their political relevancy. Now, the WFP has come back much stronger, having played a major hand in not only de Blasio's electoral victory, but also that of City Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Letitia James.
Many political observers believe that a pre condition for the WFP endorsing Cuomo, they will ask the governor to actively campaign to put the state Senate back in Democratic hands--a notion that Cuomo lent some credence to at the press conference.
"Maybe, maybe..." Cuomo responded when asked if he would campaign on behalf of Senate Democratic candidates this election season. He added that the idea of the Democrat-Republican coalition in the Senate was to "restore functionality" to the chamber, which Cuomo believes has been accomplished as evidenced by the four consecutive on-time budgets that have been passed. But, he said, with two of his three legislative priorities--the DREAM Act and Women's Equality Agenda--looking unlikely to pass this session, if the Senate failes to pass his third priority, public campaign financing, he would "act accordingly."