The renegade Democrats that formed the Independent Democratic Conference that has helped keep Republicans in control of the NYS Senate are coming back into the Democratic Caucus.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is apparently worried about upstart candidate Cynthia Nixon using the governor's support for the IDC as a way to attack him in the primary campaign as she tries to deny him a third term in Albany.
We learned about the meeting leading politicians and, interestingly, labor leaders had in this NY State of Politics piece.
Last Thursday before the budget was finalized, Governor Andrew Cuomo began reaching out to labor leaders. He invited them to a 3p meeting on Tuesday April 3rd at the Capital Grille on 42nd Street, not far from Cuomo’s East side office. At that meeting were the State’s key labor leaders or their surrogates, along with IDC Leader Jeff Klein, Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Congressman Joe Crowley. Some say Klein knew what was about to happen others say he did not. Stewart-Cousins definitely did not.
Cuomo had the floor. He told attendees that like his father, he learned early on that you can’t “retrade.” It’s fine to look ahead to the special elections on April 24th, but that is not good enough. The two Democratic factions must come together immediately, even if that means Klein sitting in the minority, something he has been loathe to do. Cuomo announced that Klein must “end the IDC altogether.” Stewart-Cousins will be sole leader of a reunited Democratic party and Klein will serve as a Deputy. Senator Michael Gianaris will remain in his leadership post.
As one Democratic insider put it, “we can now leave this ugly chapter behind us and work together as one party.”
Yesterday’s meeting lasted two hours. It was described as very clandestine with many of the participants unaware of who else would be invited. When everyone arrived, it was a little bit like one of those murder mystery themed dinner parties.
Like just about everything else with Cuomo, this seems kind of creepy.
What does this mean for us? It is hard to tell.
I will say that I think now is the time to push on changing the teacher evaluation system and ditching the ridiculous state tests. Cuomo needs a big win in the primary to enhance his progressive credentials for a 2020 White House run. That push to repeal the evaluation system won't come from Michael Mulgrew. It needs to come from us.