There's been plenty of speculation about Zephyr Teachout's post-primary plans over the last couple of months. It's no secret that she's assembled some staff and that there is still some money coming into her operation. "What will she do with this," many have asked. We now have the beginnings of an answer. She and the Working Families Party are picking a fight with Andrew Cuomo over one of his (and his funders) favorite policy preferences, charter schools.
Fordham law professor Zephyr Teachout is promising to remain a thorn in Gov. Cuomo's side — rejoining forces with the Working Families Party on Tuesday to fight him on charter schools, the Daily News has learned.
The WFP, which picked Teachout as its candidate for governor before ditching her to endorse Cuomo in the Democratic primary, is teaming with Teachout to fight Cuomo's efforts to raise the state's cap on charter schools in a possible special session next week.
Teachout and the WFP will release a report on the issue Tuesday and she said she plans to hold Cuomo's feet to the fire on other "crisis" issues, such as hydro-fracking.
Many of Cuomo's top donors are funding the charter school lobby, Teachout charges, singling out Carl Icahn, Paul Tudor Jones and Dan Loeb.
The legislature wants a raise. Cuomo, who would have to sign off on that raise, wants to lift the cap on charter schools. Given that a sitting legislature can not raise it's own pay, lawmakers have a short window to pass a pay raise before the new legislature is seated in January. This sets the stage for some epic horse trading in a special session next week.
Everyone knows that this is the moment to exert maximum influence to get what they want.
I'll have much more on this later today. I'm still trying to get my hands on that report. But the battle is joined, good people of New York State. I honestly don't think this fight has much chance of succeeding unless they can kill it in the Assembly — there's just too damn much (public) money at stake and the GOP's new incoming state Senate majority has been very clear that they support lots more charters — but it's a battle worth fighting nonetheless.
More soon. Stay tuned.
(image via TeachoutWu.com)