In recent weeks, Governor Andrew Cuomo faced some quiet grumblings over his perceived unwillingness to help the presidential ticket, but countering that narrative this morning, Mr. Cuomo announced his plans to campaign in swing states for President Barack Obama–although he’s not sure where yet.
“My position is very simple. I’m 100 percent supportive of the president, I’ll help any way I can,” Mr. Cuomo said on Fred Dicker’s radio show. “They asked me to do surrogate work in other states, I’ll do whatever they ask me to do.”
In the wake of Buzzfeed’s bombshell report that Andrew Cuomo’s office kept a dossier on the slights blogger Liz Benjamin wielded against their boss (and tried to get her fired for them), Buzzfeed editor–and story author–Ben Smith appeared on Fred Dicker’s radio show to talk about the piece.
Mr. Dicker of course is one of Mr. Cuomo’s closest allies in the press, with his radio program being the site of a regular “gentle colloquy” with the governor.
And it was clear from their brief interview that Mr. Smith and Mr. Dicker do not reside in the same reality.
At first, Mr. Dicker disputed the newsiness of the story.
“If someone tried to get you fired, Fred, I would certainly consider that a story,” Mr. Smith shot back.
Night of the Living Deals
Governor Andrew Cuomo defended himself against criticism of last week’s night of dealmaking in an appearance on Fred Dicker’s radio show, “Live From The State Capitol” this morning. While critics say the all night Albany negotiations didn’t allow for public input and went against the governor’s promises of transparency and his pledge to veto redistricting lines not drawn through an independent process, the dealmaking also led to the passage of some of his pet projects; pension reform, the expansion of the DNA databank, lifting the ban on casino gambling and teacher evaluations. Overall, Mr. Cuomo described the marathon legislative session as a success and dismissed critiques of the suite of deals that have been described as the “big ugly.”
“Last week, the government worked it performed it passed bills,” Governor Cuomo said.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg appeared on Fred Dicker’s radio show, “Live From The State Capitol,” to discuss Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Tier VI pension reform proposal. Despite rumors of a strained relationship between hizzoner and the governor, Mayor Bloomberg, who was joined by Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings, praised the push for pension reform and blasted legislators who are trying to block Tier VI.
“Our message is that we have an expense that none of us can afford; pension costs that were voted by the Legislature are just destroying the budgets from one end of New York State to the other,” Mayor Bloomberg said.
The New York Times reported yesterday on the released submissions to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s online chats where Mr. Cuomo answered only 16 questions out of hundreds, possibly avoiding some of the more sensitive topics from the list. Asked about the story on Fred Dicker’s radio show today, however, Mr. Cuomo didn’t exactly agree with that assessment.
“I think it’s a silly point,” he said bluntly.
In particular, Mr. Cuomo mocked the idea that he was avoiding questions over hydrofracking.
“Of course not, of course not!” he exclaimed of answering all of the questions on the subject. “When you do any situation like this, whether it’s a call-in radio or whatever it is, you get organized efforts that will ask the same question a hundred times a hundred different ways. Hydrofracking opponents are very well organized.”
Influential Albany power broker, radio host and New York Post columnist Fred Dicker is not pleased Dominican ambassador Roberto Saladin sent a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo asking him to support the push to create a new predominantly Latino Congressional district in Northern Manhattan and the Bronx. Mr. Dicker discussed Mr. Saladin’s letter on his radio show, Live From The State Capitol, this morning with his fellow Post columnist, former Assemblyman Michael Benjamin.
“First of all, the presumptuousness of it is pretty interesting,” Mr. Dicker said of the letter.
Earlier today, Governor Andrew Cuomo gave his thoughts on the State’s redistricting mess and his forecast for how it will play out on Fred Dicker’s radio show, “Live From The State Capitol.” The governor reiterated his vow to veto the current set of lines and blamed the back and forth bickering on “political theater,” he also explained why he thinks it will all get solved “very, very quickly.”
“This is all, frankly, hypocritical and it’s all political theater,” Governor Cuomo said.
New York is one of the only states in the entire country to not even have its Congressional lines drafted, let alone passed. On Fred Dicker’s radio show this morning, the host asked Assemblyman Jack McEneny, one of the heads of the redistricting taskforce in Albany, why they have not presented congressional lines or held hearings on them like they’ve done for the state legislative lines.
“Because traditionally, we have always done the Senate and Assembly first. Didn’t do it the last couple times either,” Mr. McEneny responded.
Mr. Dicker then asked why Albany doesn’t just ignore tradition and draft a congressional map so that the public can comment. Mr. McEneny blamed Judge Sharpe for ordering the congressional primary sooner than its normal date to comply with a federal law aiming to provide military voters absentee ballots in time to actually vote.
Queens Democratic Senator Mike Gianaris appeared on the Fred Dicker’s radio this morning and was just getting into his pitch against the GOP’s partisan redistricting plan–”They have reminded us once again why Albany has been known as the most dysfunctional capital in the nation. We have been working very hard with Gov. Cuomo to get the reputation of the state government on the right track and it’s things like this, in one fell swoop that bring us right back to the worst of the worst”–when the host interrupted.
Why, Mr. Dicker wanted to know, if the Democrats are so taken by the issue of nonpartisan redistricting, did they not make it the law when they were in the majority in 2009-2010. Don’t deny it, the longtime Post columnist said: if you were in charge, you would be drawing them out of existence too.
In his appearance on Fred Dicker’s radio show today, Governor Andrew Cuomo addressed the controversy over teacher evaluations. Last week, State Education Commissioner John B. King announced suspended millions of dollars in funding from schools in the five boroughs and nine other districts around New York that missed a deadline to agree on plans for teacher evaluation programs. Governor Cuomo, who called for an education commission to come up with an evaluation plan in his State of the State address last week, described the situation with as a “major crisis for the state.” Though he doesn’t plan on personally getting involved in the tense negotiations on evaluations going on between local school districts and teacher’s unions, Governor Cuomo said something has to give.
“This situation is not going away, we need the evaluations done because it’s how we improve education. Second, we need an evaluation system, because it was the condition of the federal funding and it’s not going to get better,” Governor Cuomo said.