From the Morning Memo:

New York’s campaign finance laws could soon be overhauled by a commission meeting over the next several weeks, with the headline change being the creation of a system of public financing.

But smaller parties in New York, including the Working Families Party, have increasingly viewed the commission as a vehicle for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to get rid of or alter fusion voting, a mechanism that has allowed entities like the WFP and the Conservative Party to retain influence.

Fusion voting allows candidates run for multiple offices on the same ballot, an arrangement party chairmen have grudgingly lived with over the years, and one that enables parties on the left or right flanks to influence Democratic and Republican platforms.

The WFP, which had initially endorsed Cynthia Nixon’s campaign for governor in 2018 before backing Cuomo’s re-election after he won the September primary, sees the commission’s broad mandate as a threat.

The commission met for the first time on Wednesday and voted to advance any package of changes as a single proposal. This was an “aha!” moment for the WFP.

“Cuomo’s hand-picked state party chair and hand-picked commissioner Jay Jacobs is the state’s most vocal fusion opponent,” WFP Executive Director Bill Lipton.

“At today’s commission meeting, he today pushed through a resolution binding all recommendations together into one vote. It’s a transparent effort to tie public financing and ending fusion voting together. This is Cuomo’s poison pill to eliminate fusion voting.”

Jacobs, the state party chairman, has been critical of fusion voting in the past. He said in an interview last month he would keep an open mind about the issue while serving on the commission.

The governor’s office scoffed at the suggestion, noting Lipton and the WFP are on the same side of this argument with the Conservative Party.

“The mandate of the commission is to create the strongest public financing system possible,” said Rich Azzopardi, a senior advisor to Cuomo. “I have no reaction to the WFP’s latest bout of paranoia or the craven political motivations of Boss Bill and his new best friends, the Trump lovin’ conservatives.”

Cuomo and Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul received 114,478 votes on the Working Families Party ballot line, more than twice the 50,000-vote threshold for the party to retain ballot status in the current election cycle.