Republican candidate for state comptroller Robert Antonacci’s decision to take part in the public financing system amounts to a GOP “civil war” over the issue, the state Democratic Committee charged this morning.

In a statement from Democratic spokesman Peter Kauffmann, the party couldn’t help but point out the irony of the situation, as Republican candidate for governor Rob Astornio remains firmly opposed to public financing.

“The Republican soap opera continues – it’s the right versus the far right,” Kauffmann said in the statement. “Will Astorino stand with Antonacci? Will Astorino endorse Tom DiNapoli instead? Will NY GOP Chairman Ed Cox choose Astorino or Antonacci? Welcome to the new schizophrenic Republican Party. Who will win – the right or the far right?”

Incumbent comptroller Tom DiNapoli, a Democrat who has differed with Gov. Andrew Cuomo publicly, is not taking part in the public financing system, which was agreed to in the state budget for only his race, much to the chagrin of liberal advocates.

The statement also comes as Cuomo is renewing a push to have a statewide public financing program, a move that the labor-backed Working Families Party says is key for endorsing the governor this year for re-election.

Senate Republicans have opposed a broader public financing program, but Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos is reportedly open to a compromise on the issue.

Update: State Republican spokesman David Laska notes there are few disagreements within the Democratic Party as well.

Andrew Cuomo has some gall dispatching his partisans to accuse Republicans of a civil war. Want to see a civil war? How about Cuomo vs. Schneiderman, Cuomo vs. the WFP, Cuomo vs. the Daily Kos or Cuomo and DiNapoli vs. themselves on public financing? Cuomo and DiNapoli’s 180-degree flip-flop on public financing is the height of hypocrisy: as soon as they realized how much of their own war chests they’d have to forfeit, public financing didn’t seem like such a hot idea anymore.