sex lies and videotape
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that voters don’t blame him for the scandals sweeping Albany, joking that nobody could have expected him to ban sex.
Speaking during an appearance on WCNY’s “Capitol Pressroom” earlier today, Mr. Cuomo was asked about a new poll that shows that, despite the recent scandals–including Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s resignation following sexual harassment allegations–his numbers have ticked slightly up.
Headline of the Day: “Sheldon-come-lately”
Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver‘s late-night call to expel disgraced Assemblymen Vito Lopez from office hasn’t helped to temper calls for his head. But most Democratic leaders seem unlikely to push for disciplinary action against the speaker. Gov. Andrew Cu0mo told reporters yesterday he didn’t think it was his place “to say who the speaker is and who the speaker should be.” He added: “I don’t see any comparison between what Vito Lopez and what Shelly Silver did … There is a magnitude of difference.”
On an unrelated note, the governor seems to be raking in the green. His most recent finance disclosure statement, made public Thursday, shows he made between $1.75 million and $2 million. The bulk of his assets are reportedly managed by a blind trust at AMG National Trust Bank.
The nanny state is creeping across the border.
New Jersey lawmakers traveled all the way to New York City Hall Thursday to announce their plans to introduce legislation boosting the tobacco purchase age in the Garden State to 21. The announcement comes less than a month after City Council Speaker Christine Quinn unveiled similar plans for the city, which were quickly followed by lawmakers in Albany.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo may have his eye on the White House, but it looks his sister may be gunning for the opposite team.
Mr. Cuomo’s sister, film producer Maria Cuomo-Cole, took to Twitter Friday morning to publicly support an EMILY’s List campaign to put a woman in the White House—a campaign that isn’t shy about its support for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, widely considered Mr. Cuomo’s biggest barrier to the Democratic nomination.
It’s become standard practice for presidential candidates to release personal memoirs outlining their governmental philosophy, and although Governor Andrew Cuomo insists he’s focused on New York, he’s soon to follow down that well-tread electoral path. The book, like Hillary Clinton’s–another prominent potential White House contender–is slated to emerge next year.
“This is a private book. It’s not a government book,” he told reporters during an unrelated press conference in Albany. It doesn’t yet have a name, but as Mr. Cuomo described it, the memoir will be sure to address how he approaches government and tout his accomplishments.
Former Governor Eliot Spitzer, never a fan of the current governor, yesterday blasted his hiring and spending practices at the Empire State Development Corporation. A recent front-page New York Times story suggested Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration prefers politically connected hires, an implication Mr. Spitzer wholly agreed with.
“There has been a problem at ESDC,” Mr. Spitzer told Road to City Hall host Errol Louis during last night’s program. “I think that The New York Times article was very clear in that is merely the top layer of the onion in terms of politics being pervasive in hiring, leaving and pushing substance to the side.”
What White House?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo shot down a report Monday that he’s been telling confidantes he knows he can’t run for president in 2016 if Hillary Clinton enters the race.
“There is no truth to the assertion that I’m talking presidential politics and strategy and what Hillary Clinton should do or shouldn’t do or what I’m doing presidentially,” Mr. Cuomo told WCNY’s Susan Arbetter this morning.
“The only discussions I’m having are about how to help the state, how to get the state running, how to make the government a better government,” he added. “And to the extend I’m focusing on politics, it’s my race next year.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg may have canceled his morning radio appearance today in response to the ongoing manhunt for a suspect involved in Monday’s deadly bombing attack on the Boston Marathon, but another top New York official, Governor Andrew Cuomo, scheduled his own radio interview on The Capitol Pressroom soon after. Mr. Cuomo directly addressed the high-profile situation in the Bay State by employing a phrase he previously used to describe climate change in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy: “the new normal.”
“It’s a terrible situation in Boston. And, unfortunately, … one gets the sense that this is more reflective of the ‘new normal,’ if you will,” he explained. “So much of society is changing so rapidly. We talk about a ‘new normal’ when it comes t0 climate change and adjusting to a change in the weather patterns. ‘New normal’ when it comes to public security in a post-9/11 world. Where these random acts of violence, which at one time were implausible, now seem all-too-frequent.”
Two weeks ago, Democratic State Sen. Malcolm Smith was arrested and charged with trying to bribe his way into the Republican mayoral primary, prompting cries for reform from both ends of the political spectrum. Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo rolled out a series of proposals that he hopes will address many of these concerns.
“You’ve heard the expression pay to play, this is pay to run,” Mr. Cuomo said at a press conference announcing the measures. “The allegations that the minor parties basically, on occasion, have used campaign contributions to determine who gets the line and it’s almost that the line goes to the highest bidder.”
What You Should Know
The State Legislature is set to look at tightening New York’s infamously loose campaign finance rules in the wake of a recent slate of corruption scandals, but State Sen. Rubén Díaz believes legislative attention should instead be focused on Governor Andrew Cuomo.
“I would like to recommend that ethics reform in New York State begin in the Governor’s mansion,” Mr. Díaz declared today in one of his regular “What You Should Know” statements. “While we consider how to restrict Senate campaign donations that are used to pay for meals, I would like my readers to know that many of my colleagues are routinely invited to the Governor’s mansion to eat his food and drink his wine with no oversight to who pays those bills.”