Who Gets Squeezed on De Blase Agenda
I feel like I am having trouble keeping track of all the Democratic Factions. There are those who call themselves “progressives,” and those who consider themselves more mainstream. Then there is the breakaway IDC in the State Senate, which holds power with Republicans in a coalition, even though the IDC is the only entirely Pro-Choice conference. Finally, there are middle of the road Democrats like Governor Cuomo, who needs to appeal to all New Yorkers in order to get re-elected.
It’s enough to make your head spin. What’s fascinating is that with a clearly outnumbered Republican party in New York State, Democrats have found a way to fracture and fight one another. I suppose that is human nature to some extent, and the left certainly sows it’s own seeds of destruction. Ahh, The scourge of Democrat on Democrat violence.
But if certain Democratic leaders play their cards right, there might be way for them to benefit. As first reported here by Lovett, IDC Leader Jeff Klein fully supports one of Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio’s signature policy proposals to tax the wealthy in New York City in order to fund universal pre-k. Assuming Klein can hold the line here, he might not only avoid a potential primary challenge but also put himself in the majority. De Blasio is coming to Albany with several assets: the largest non-incumbent margin of victory in city history, a potentially united progressive city council, a strong majority in the Assembly and now an ally in the coalition majority that controls the Senate. As a result, the person who might find himself playing defense is Governor Cuomo who wants to enact tax cuts rather approve tax increases in an election year.
Cuomo’s numbers are still strong in New York City, according to the latest Siena Poll. But the crosstabs show, his upstate numbers are probably not exactly where he’d like them to be. That is going make him reluctant to approve any taxes, even if they only effect New York City. Some have also raised concerns about whether Republicans in the State Senate would agree to a tax, since their first answer is usually “no,” because it’s a “job killer,” or something like that. But Klein seems confident he can get it through, especially if it becomes a home rule issue. Klein said in an interview today,
“We’ve given localities around our state a lot of leeway to raise sales taxes, to raise taxes locally to pay for certain items. Even in New York City.”
Both Klein and De Blasio acknowledge they have ties that go way back. In fact, they once worked together on the John Edwards Presidential campaign in New York ( ooooh…sorry guys, I know that’s gonna leave a bruise ). Klein says he has spoken to the Mayor-elect several times. And over the weekend de Blasio said of Klein,
“It’s a good relationship. I have known him for a long time and I very much appreciate his support on early childhood education and after school.”
The special relationship would certainly help Klein who was the target of several speeches this afternoon at a meeting of the Black and Latino Legislative Caucus at Baruch College. With National Action Network’s Al Sharpton concluding of Klein and the IDC,
“Coalitions that do not have the agenda of those who are working class and those that are needy and those that are not getting their fair share, that is not a coalition that is a co-option.”
What happens in the next few months will be key, because someone is going to pay the price politically if the emboldened left flank of the Democratic party does not get it’s way.
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