Now that the progressive Working Families Party has endorsed Cynthia Nixon over Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the big question is: How far will he go to destroy the WFP?
On Sunday, The Post’s Carl Campanile reported, WFP Director Bill Lipton quoted the gov saying he “pulled the 990s” (i.e., tax documents) of community-activist groups tied to the WFP.
A Cuomo campaign aide called the claim “absurd.” But Lipton saw it as a threat, because the docs can help ID the group’s big donors (often labor unions), and the gov could then target them for revenge.
And Lipton’s comment followed his Friday claim of another Cuomo threat, telling labor leaders to “lose my number” if they keep funding the WFP. Team Cuomo denied that, too . . . but the party’s last two main remaining unions quit that day.
Worse, WFP-linked groups might be at risk of losing state cash. Just one, Make the Road New York, hauls in more than $1 million a year from Albany. The Black Institute, run by WFP co-founder Bertha Lewis, got at least $175,000 in the new state budget.
Would Cuomo move to cut their funding for political payback — about as corrupt a move as can be? No way, his aide insists: The budget process is “totally separate” from politics. (And shame on anyone who’d think Andrew Cuomo would mix politics and policy so thuggishly.)
Then again, Cuomo himself reportedly urged union leaders to halt their cash flow to groups that back Nixon. Clearly, he’s determined to totally strangle the party that just endorsed her — and any group associated with it. Principles be damned.
With labor gone, the WFP’s now essentially run by the activist groups that co-founded it with the unions. Weakening those groups will hurt the WFP, and that’s no doubt far more important to Cuomo than any good they may do.
Don’t get us wrong: It’s beyond unseemly that taxpayer money goes to groups that fund a party that elects the politicians who decide where taxpayer money goes. But it stinks that this has only become an issue after the WFP crossed the gov.
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