WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
32nd Senatorial District, Bronx County, New York
Crossing Party Lines with Governor Andrew Cuomo
You should know that in an interview yesterday, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo explained how, in no uncertain terms, he has no problem in crossing party lines and endorsing Republicans or Independents, if and when he believes it is appropriate to do so.
According to news reports, Governor Cuomo, the leader of the Democratic Party in the State, stated: “I could see myself endorsing any individual regardless of party label, depending on the positions, depending on the individual. I’ve worked with Democrats, I’ve worked with Republicans, and I’ve worked with Independents. I’ve worked against Democrats, Republicans, and Independents … I’m a Democrat, I support Democrats, but you make a decision on the person, ultimately.” Ditto!
Although I have never shied away from any criticism I have had about decisions and positions that Governor Andrew Cuomo has made, I must say that this approach to politics is one that I respect.
I, too, have refused to endorse candidates just because they are Democrats. If a candidate can demonstrate his or her ability to lead, and demonstrate that his or her positions on issues that matter most to my constituents, the district I represent, and my beliefs, I will endorse that person. Unfortunately, I have in the past, received an inordinate amount of criticism for crossing the aisle to endorse non democratic candidates.
So far, I have not heard any criticism on Governor Cuomo’s, (the highest leader of the democratic party in the state,) remarks and actions against the democratic party since he became governor.
When former Mayor Ed Koch crossed party lines to endorse Republicans - including the GOP’s Bob Turner to fill Anthony Weiner’s seat – he was not seen as a traitor to the Democratic Party, but as a person with integrity. When Dennis Rivera, the President of 1199 and his Union endorsed George Pataki for Governor instead of Democrats Carl McCall and Andrew Cuomo who also ran in that race, that endorsement was seen as practical and helpful for his union members; Not as treason to the democratic party.
You should already know that Democrats have a long history of standing up for students, immigrants, working people, the poor and the less fortunate.
It is sad that the Democratic Party has turned away from what could be seen as its natural position to defend the unborn. It’s also sad, that the Democratic Party has decided to redefine the very basic definition of marriage between a man and a woman, but we can work on that, too.
In this specific case, I applaud, support and will follow the leadership and guidance of Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is the undisputable leader of the Democratic Party in New York State. I believe that since the Governor of New York State and other highly esteemed Democratic Party leaders can cross party lines to endorse and support non democratic candidates, so can I. As they say, “what's good for the goose is good for the gander.”
I am Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz and this is what you should know.