On a recent afternoon, Dean Skelos stood outside a Jewish soup kitchen in Hasidic South Brooklyn, wearing a blue velvet yarmulke that read "Majority Leader of State Senate of New York" in Hebrew.
Skelos was there to chop vegetables and feed the hungry, but his Twitter feud with liberal actor Alec Baldwin over the issue of taxing millionaires was still fresh in his mind. Baldwin had called Skelos a "tool" of the super-rich. The Senate majority leader naturally took issue.
"I’m not a tool of the millionaires," Skelos harumphed. "I’m a tool of the job creators in this state. And I’m the person that wants to stop that flight of jobs from the state."
Fortunately for Skelos, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is firmly in his corner on letting the temporary surcharge on high-income earners- aka the millionaires tax- expire by the end of the year. Occupy Wall Street (and its little brother, Occupy Albany) have reignited the call to extend the tax, as a way to both fill the $2 billion budget gap projected for next year and bring some parity to the tax code. And as public support for the occupation and taxing the wealthy grows, progressives and labor unions from around the state are marshaling their forces in anticipation of a bare-knuckle brawl in Albany next year. —
To read the rest of this article by Andrew J. Hawkins, head to The Capitol…