In New York, O’Malley boosts de Blasio and tweaks Cuomo

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Governor Martin O'Malley of Maryland sided with Democratic mayoral nominee Bill de Blasio in a disagreement with Governor Andrew Cuomo over taxing the rich to pay for early education.

At an event in Manhattan this morning, O'Malley, a Democrat and hypothetical Cuomo rival in 2016, said that he raised taxes in his own state to fund universal pre-kindergarten.

De Blasio has made a proposal to tax wealthy New York City residents to fund pre-K a centerpiece of his mayoral campaign. Cuomo seemed to rule out the possibility of approving the increase in Albany. Then when de Blasio, a longtime ally, suggested that Cuomo hadn't actually ruled it out, the governor left him hanging. 

In his initial remarks, O'Malley said, "If every major business group along with all sorts of other groups agree that early childhood education is a smart investment, saves you money, and al strengthens your middle class, then it would seem that we need to figure out how to do more of it, rather than less."

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Later, as part of a panel discussion, O'Malley was asked specifically if he supported de Blasio's plan.

O'Malley said, "I think that's an investment the people of New York would support and I spoke to a few people yesterday who would have been in that category who were willing to do that. Four-tenths of one percent more [in taxes on city residents earning more than $500K a year] in order to have universal pre-K is a proposal that makes a lot of sense. It's certainly a proposal that long-term would have a big impact on upward middle-class mobility, economic mobility."

O'Malley did not mention Cuomo.