Andrew Cuomo's refusal to extend New York's "Millionaire Tax", set to expire at the end of this year, has galvanized Occupy Wall Street into opposing the popular first-term governor.
Writer Naomi Wolf was arrested during a rally protesting Cuomo's stance on the tax.
And in Albany, 200 or so protesters occupying Academy Park, a half a mile away from Governor Cuomo's office, have rallied behind calls for the governor to extend the tax on those who make over $200,000 a year -- so much so that one protester dubbed Occupy Albany "Cuomoville."
Cuomo responded last weekend by trying to have the protesters evicted, demanding that Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings arrest protesters who remained in Academy Park after an 11 pm curfew.
Jennings, a longtime Cuomo ally and fellow Democrat, initially agreed but then backed off his promise.
"Some of the governor's people were pretty firm about our not doing this, letting them stay in the park, but basically, we had allowed this before . . . and my counsel said we'd be opening ourselves up to civil liability if we forced them out," Jennings told The Post. But there was another reason as well, he conceded.
Albany's leftist-oriented and highly political district attorney, David Soares, told city officials he wouldn’t prosecute demonstrators who were arrested by Albany police.
When he ran for governor, Cuomo considered Jennings as a running mate for lieutenant governor but ended up picking Rochester Mayor Robert Duffy instead.
A source close to Cuomo tells The Post, "It's fair to say that after Jennings' performance with the demonstrators, the governor thinks he made the right choice."
In an interview with Governor Paterson on Monday, Cuomo asserted, "We believe in the right to demonstrate. We also believe in the rule of law and we will enforce the law." Cuomo also noted that there are limits on free speech around the statehouse if demonstrations disrupt the business of government from being completed.
Although the "Millionaire's Tax" is extremely popular with New York voters, Cuomo has remained steadfast in his opposition, claiming the tax will drive rich people out of the Empire State, taking valuable jobs with them.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article erroneously stated Naomi Klein was arrested. It was Naomi Wolf who was arrested.