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Blue Civil War
Cuomo Tacitly Endorses De Blasio Rival in Charter Schools Fight

New York is taking center stage in the fight over charter schools. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo are both Democrats, but they couldn’t stand further apart when it comes to charters. On the stump de Blasio promised to end the city’s practice of allowing charter schools free co-location in empty space in public schools, and to restrict the creation of new schools. Cuomo, on the other hand, has joined Democrats like Barack Obama and Rahm Emanuel to champion charters as a common-sense education reform.

The two appeared at competing rallies in Albany on Tuesday. De Blasio’s rally in support of a higher tax on wealthy New Yorkers was not specifically targeted at education, but across town, Andrew Cuomo joined Success Academy CEO Eva Moskowitz at a different rally promoting charter schools. Although de Blasio downplayed the significance of the charter rally, it’s a big deal. Moskowitz is his chief opponent in the charter school co-location fight. Indeed, de Blasio specifically mentioned the need to reduce Moskowitz’s influence as a reson for the policy shift, and Moskowitz has responded with plenty of harsh words of her own. By appearing at the rally, Cuomo effectively endorsed de Blasio’s biggest rival. And he’s not just a silent partner; he spoke forcefully about the need to protect charter schools:

“We are here today to tell you that we stand with you,” Mr. Cuomo said. “You are not alone. We will save charter schools.” […]

“Parents deserve a choice,” he said.

Mr. Cuomo promised to ensure that charter schools have the “financial capacity and physical space and government support to thrive and to grow.”

New York is quickly becoming the chief battleground between the Democratic Party’s liberal and moderate wings. The competition between these two men can tell us a good deal about whether the far-left wing of the Democratic party can successfully pull the moderates in their direction and influence the party’s agenda. If they succeed, it could be good news for the GOP come 2016.

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  • free_agent

    This could be very interesting, because in the long run, the state government has the ultimate power…

    • bigfire

      de Blasio can always do as Nero does, burn the city and dare Cuomo to do anything about it. That might actually be his plan as his current war against the golden goose (Wall Street) goes. Wall Street and its support structure pays a significantly disportionately large part of New York City’s revenue. He’s going out of his way to fried that.

  • TheWanderingJewels

    let him rage…the financial sector will move elsewhere and NYC will implode. Good tiems

    • bannedforselfcensorship

      The financial sector never seems to quite make that move.

      • John Morris

        And why would they? Ain’t a capitalist left on Wall Street, just a bunch of Harvard/Yale men wearing 10K suits but they all still have their Che t-shirt in their closet if you know what I mean.

  • Mike O’ The lake

    Boy, we’re in real trouble if you think this is a fight between the democrat moderates and liberals – try a fight between the extreme, extreme left of the democratic party and howling barbarian left of the democratic party.

  • douginsd

    Its one of many fights to come between those who want to maximize the quantity and quality of services a state provides while minimizing the administrative costs of providing them, and those who only want to maximize the privileges of the administrative class (which limits the amount of money that can be spent on actual services), while wrapping themselves in the mantle of good intentions.

    They have all started to wake up to the fact that there is a limited pot of money.

  • Steve Malanga

    In office just a few months after a landslide victory, de Blasio’s unfavorable rating is already 57 percent according to Marist poll released today….39 percent favorable..

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