The Working Families Party has got to get the prize for New York's most inaccurate political taxonomy-advocating on behalf of bigger government at the expense of some of the hardest working families in the state, the party needs to be renamed to better reflect its aims and objectives. But, even more importantly, New York's Democrats may soon be feeling the sting of voters because of their too cozy relationship with the party that is being seen as responsible for the recently concluded high tax, high spend state budget.
This is the theme of Jacob Gershman's analysis in the NY Post yesterday-and it could be seen as the handwriting on the wall: "WRACKED by a wicked hangover after a binge of wild budgeting, Democrats in Albany have opened their eyes to the behemoth lying in their bed and refusing to leave. It's the Working Families Party -- the left-wing coalition of organized labor and ACORN activists -- which seduced Democrats with its potent field operations and helped bring them to power in the Senate for the first time in generations."
This closeness could be particularly harmful for the slim majority Dems hold in the state senate: "Now, the WFP is demanding a long-term relationship -- to the alarm of Democrats, whose more moderate constituents back home are threatening to split. Democrats worry that the force behind their takeover of the Senate last year is sowing the seeds of their downfall."
There are perhaps four of five districts where Democrats could be vulnerable to the charge that they are the handmaidens of a group that holds the tax payers in contempt: "Privately, they fear that the backlash against the WFP-orchestrated state budget -- with its 9 percent spending hike and $8 billion in new taxes and fees -- has jeopardized their hold on at least three upstate seats, giving Republicans a dangerous opening."
The WFP, for its part, deserves credit for feeling the pride of authorship: "The WFP is warning Senate Democrats not to second-guess their choices. There's no turning back, says party chief Dan Cantor. "I think the Democrats should be worried. They should be praising the budget. You can't run away from your own decision," Cantor says. "If they run from it and let the Republicans misrepresent what just happened, then it gets tougher for them."
Misrepresent? Now what could Danny mean? Not that it was a good idea to grab the stimulus cash, not to keep tax increases down, but to increase spending and sock it to the already over taxed citizenry? That is, however, just what the Party means, and it believes that it is a winning political strategy: "And to Democrats nervous about the outpouring of rage from constituents, Cantor preaches a message of patience: "The society is drenched in anti-tax dogma, so it's understandable that making the case for a more just sharing of the burden is going to take some time."
This guy clearly hasn't seen how New York compares to other states-even to the one that used to be labeled Taxsachusetts. And just maybe the tax revolution that has launched the Tea Party phenomenon will be slower to tack hold in the liberal environs of New York, but even here a strong backlash from a public that is tired of being a big government piñata is not out of the realm of possibility-and certainly not in some of the state's swing districts. We'll see what 2010 brings; bu the part needs to be very careful here.