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Friday, October 11, 2013

Cuomo Two-Step Falls Flat

Governor Cuomo was asked about the Advocacy Language:

Interesting.....because Cuomo used rather similar language when he was asked about reports, originally by the New York Daily News' Ken Lovett, that he, or the office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, quashed subpoenas that the Moreland Commission, the anti-corruption panel that he himself established, was about to issue to real estate developers who benefited from tax breaks AND generously donated to his campaign, and to the state Democratic party entity that helped to fund ads promoting his agenda.
"No. Mr. [Ken] Lovett asked that question to the commission itself and they said that they do the subpoenas, the co-chairs make the decisions." [Capitol Confidential]
However, when pressed further and questioned as to whether he or his staff played any role or supplied any guidance to the committee, the governor broke into a clumsy two-step around the question while his press secretary desperately tried to break up the dance before he could trip and tumble to the floor:
Blain: So did your staff have any role in guiding them in what subpoenas to issue?

Cuomo: Well, you know that the staff — the Moreland Commission is staffed by people from the governor’s office and the AG’s office. We staff the commission. The co-chairs vote on what subpoenas to do and it requires a unanimous vote of the co-chairs.

Matt Wing, Cuomo press secretary: Thank you, guys!

Blain: And did you or any of your staff play any role in helping them determine where to go with subpoenas or not?

Cuomo: The governor’s staff staffs the commission. It’s staffed by people from the Attorney General’s office. So they staff the commission.

Blain: No, I understand that, but in terms of who gets a subpoena — did you play any role in that?

Cuomo: The co-chairs make that determination.

Wing: Thank you, guys! Glenn, we’ve gotta go.

Cuomo: The co-chairs make that determination. And Lovett told, Lovett had that conversation with the co-chairs.

For one thing, the veneer of being above the swirl of corruption in Albany continues to fade from this arrogant man.  And furthermore, I strongly suspect that, had the governor been similarly grilled as to whether he or any of his staff played any role or provided any guidance to the Board of Elections as to what language it should use for the casino amendment, he'd attempt similar slick footwork.  And be similarly unsuccessful.  That's just me speculating.  But the governor is free to let us know if I'm wrong.

Here's the motion by the Board of Elections to throw out Eric Snyder's suit, to be heard at 9:30 Friday morning, against the wording of the amendment.

Indeed, it contends that the suit was filed too late, of course without acknowledging that the language was not released publicly until after the deadline to file.  And it cites some other technical stuff too, like who was or was not named in the suit.  What it doesn't do is defend the fairness of the language.  Some woman named Heather Briccetti did though...she's the president of the Business Council, a group which plans to wait until just before the election before spending "a couple million dollars" to promote passage.  She's the first person I've seen anywhere who actually tries to defend the language.  
 “If you look at the Transportation Bond Act [that has been considered in the past], it says building new transportation infrastructure.....They say what the purpose is. The reason why we're authorizing a casino gambling amendment is to provide a revenue source for education, to provide a revenue source for local governments, and for job creation. I don't think it's a rosy picture.” [Capitol Tonight]
 Well, actually, Ms. Whoever You Are, I think you actually do an excellent job proving the opposite point.  As you point out, the Transportation Bond Act question simply stated its purpose; it did not say that the purpose was to build new transportation infrastructure to promote job growth, repair bridges, and promote public safety by improving roads.  The reason why the state is trying to authorize a casino gambling amendment is to allow the Legislature to authorize and regulate up to seven casinos in New York State.  Which is the exact wording submitted by the Attorney General before it was altered.  That is the purpose, period.


Figless said...

Impressed with your reporting on this issue, shocked and saddened at the lack of reporting by the print media, even those that oppose this referendum.

The reporters seem to be doing a good job but the editors are burying this story.

And yes,"the veneer of being above the swirl of corruption in Albany continues to fade from this arrogant man".

The key word is ARROGANT (and without achievement, the worst kind). I remember some predicting his arrogance would derail his political future, its seems to remain a possibility.

When new to the game and shopping for horses with a trainer, I inquired why he kept writing JAH on top of the horses catalogue page? He said it meant JUST A HORSE, or nothing special.

Cuomo, after some promise, is JAP, Just A Politician.

SaratogaSpa said...

Figless--In addition to Alan's fine reporting you might want to Check out the Times Union (Albany NY).

Over the past several weeks they have had articles and editorials on the issue. I think they have done a pretty good job shedding light on this issue.

Kyle said...

Good column. I heard a sound bite from the business chicky. She suggested that this would give people all over the world another reason to visit New York. Think of that what you might, how is it that the business community at large can possibly be for this? I'm no Walmart hater, but it's like small businesses working to bring Walmart into their community. Casinos are black holes. The money lost there is obviously not spent elsewhere and little gets recirculated out to the community.

Alan Mann said...

Yes, the Times Union has done a great job and has been the source for much of my reporting. Particularly on their Capitol Confidential blog.

jk said...

>She suggested that this would give people all over the world another reason to visit New York.

Who is flying in now to play slots at the Big A or Yonkers? No one. Anyone driving up to Saratoga in the winter to play slots? Not happening.

steve in nc said...

Figless, I'm always saddened, but never shocked at mainstream media reporting on anything at this point.

There are occasional exceptions, but mostly, whether print or broadcast, it's a steady diet of lazy rewrites of news releases, conventional (lack of) wisdom and partisan soundbites presented as political reporting, propaganda from "sources" at homeland security or the pentagon, and thinly veiled commercials presented as features.

It's long past time everyone realizes that all journalism is advocacy journalism, and that one needs to look at sources and facts to see if one's being given a straight, even if opinionated story, the way Alan has presented it here.

The supposedly objective media are advocates too - advocates for their advertisers and the economic/political structures that keep their advertisers wealthy.

Figless said...

Bookmarked the Times Union, I was referring to my NYC papers.

ballyfager said...

Horseplayers believe in breeding. If you look at Andrew Cuomo's breeding you shouldn't be surprised at all.

His father has to live with the certain knowledge that the Presidency was his for the taking. But in the period leading up to the convention Bush I looked unbeatable.

Had he taken it at least we would have been spared the Clintons.

Figless said...

Times wrote an article about the campaign money bonanza but nary a mention of the Advocacy Language;