Cuomo-initiated plans for expanding the state party’s reach

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Briefing: Cuomo. (Cuomo's office via flickr)
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Yesterday, I noted the creation of two new campaign committees, registered with the state Board of Elections: New Yorkers for Gun Safety and New Yorkers for Creating Jobs & Cutting Taxes.

It turns out both will be run by people associated with the New York State Democratic Party and, according to a person with first-hand knowledge of the groups, are part of a plan by Governor Andrew Cuomo to strengthen the party apparatus. More such groups are likely to be formed in the near future, including one dedicated to women's issues.

"It's going to be issue-focused, issue-based," my source said, and the groups will be "something to organize around. The state party, years ago, was a very strong, vibrant organization that had a really robust infrastructure which helped elect Democrats and reached out to voters. I don't think anybody can say the New York State Democratic Party is a robust organization. ... It's time we rebuild it."

The groups will only operate locally and, unlike Cuomo, will only support Democrats, according to the source: "New York State. New York Democrats. Period."

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Another person directly familiar with the plans said the groups will push issues, not specific policies.

An operative from outside the current party organization has agreed to oversee this project: Peter Kauffmann, a former aide to Hillary Clinton who later worked for Governor David Paterson and then for Cuomo, during the 2010 gubernatorial campaign.

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