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Cuomo gives ultimatum to Senate

ALBANY (AP) — Facing pressure from liberals, Gov. Andrew Cuomo vowed Thursday to campaign against state Senate leaders unless they pass public financing for statewide campaigns before the Legislature adjourns its session next month.

Cuomo, a Democrat, told reporters on Staten Island that he is pessimistic that public campaign financing will pass before lawmakers wrap up. If the Senate balks at the measure, he said he would “go to the people and tell them what I thought: that the coalition failed to deliver on important progressive items.”

The Senate is led by a coalition of Republicans and a breakaway Democratic faction. Senate Republicans blocked broad public financing earlier this year, and lawmakers created a pilot program that only applied to this year’s state comptroller race instead.

“If they do not pass public financing I will consider the coalition a failure,” Cuomo said. “And I will act accordingly.”