Leaders from community organizations across the city held a rally in Manhattan last week after reports surfaced that Governor Andrew Cuomo told union heads that fund certain community groups to “lose his number” if they don't stop funneling money their way.
The issue: they don't support his re-election campaign.
The whole controversy stems from the endorsement of Cynthia Nixon by the Working Families Party, which has close ties with several powerful unions.
After the endorsement, several major unions quit the party.
Bill Lipton, state director of WFP, contends he was at a meeting where the governor said, “If unions or anyone give money to any of these groups, they can lose my number.”
And the groups that rallied in Manhattan, many of which receive both union and state support, insisted they were under attack by Cuomo. The term “gangster” might have been thrown around once or twice.
Cuomo said he didn't plan to punish any groups for not supporting him, insisting that punishment is for God.
Hey, what's a few thousand dollars in state funding when we're talking about the eternal damnation of your soul? Might want to reconsider that endorsement now!
For his part, Cuomo last week distanced himself from the issue, saying it was a matter between the community groups and labor unions, before waxing poetic about the unions during a press conference last week.
“They represented the middle class. I am a middle-class guy from Queens,” Cuomo was quoted as saying. “This is not a phony Queens accent, this is a born-and-raised Queens accent.
He continued, “In fact, I was tawwking with Awwdrey over cawwfee the other day, and I said, 'ya know, deez unions is really good people, doncha think?' By the way, how's your little Joey doing?”
Which brings us to...
Your Andrew Cuomo Lie of the Day!
It seems Cynthia Nixon's campaign wanted to call Cuomo's bluff that he's just a regular old working-stiff from Queens.
The campaign cited statistics from the Department of Health that put the median household income in New York at between $60,000 and $70,000. They then noted that Cuomo's 2017 tax return showed that he earned more than triple that, and he lives in a $1.2 million home with girlfriend and celebrity chef Sandra Lee.
Where the Nixon campaign got it wrong is they put the emphasis on “middle” and not “class” as Cuomo intended.
It's like they've never heard a person from Queens speak before.