From City Hall:
Last week, Andrew Cuomo announced that he was prepared to spend the $4 million left in his campaign warchest—and raise more, if necessary—to push back against the unions and other special interests who may oppose his agenda when he takes over as governor.
“I understand the argument that they are going to make,” Cuomo said on Fred Dicker’s radio show last week. “I have a contrary argument. I have an argument that the people of this state just endorsed. I have an agenda that the people of this state just endorsed by a very large margin.”
Cuomo raised about $33 million for his campaign, with the first dollars coming in not long after he was elected attorney general in 2006. Of that, about $1.7 million came directly from unions and union political action committees, in addition to other money that was donated by individual unions or lobbyists associated with unions. Now, with Cuomo’s declaration that he will use what is left in the pot to take them on, some of the people who helped put money in the pot are left shaking their heads.
“Life is full of ironies,” said Stephen Madarasz, communications director for the Civil Service Employees Association, one of the public employee unions that has left little question that it will oppose cuts Cuomo proposes, and which gave Cuomo $20,000 between donations in 2007 and 2009.
Adding to the irony in Madarasz’s view is the thought that Cuomo could end up using donations culled from union dues to fight back against a union made up of government employees.
“If the boss is out there attacking his own employees with advertising that they’ve paid for, it really adds another dimension to it that would be sort of absurd,” Madarasz said.