I want candy
The verbal slugfest between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio over pre-K funding escalated today, with Mr. Cuomo calling the logical extension of the mayor’s position “repugnant” and Mr. de Blasio insisting his tax-the-rich funding scheme is the city’s only viable option.
During a press conference today, Mr. Cuomo defended his opposition to the mayor’s plan, arguing that not all cities have enough millionaires to support full pre-K programs via a de Blasio-esque tax on high income earners.
Mayor Bill de Blasio is not impressed with a new Quinnipiac poll out today, which showed that voters prefer Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to fund universal pre-K using existing state funds over the mayor’s signature plan to raise the money with a new tax on the rich.
“With all due respect to the Quinnipiac poll, the way they phrased this question was the equivalent of asking, ‘Would you like a bowl of free candy?’ To which most people would say, ‘Yes,’” said the mayor during a brief break from fiscal questions at his first budget briefing.
The city’s new public advocate, Tish James, who had vowed to be a thorn in the side of fellow officials, is already making good on her promise.
At a press conference early this morning demanding more education funding from the state, Ms. James went after Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the $2 billion tax cut plan he unveiled ahead of his State of the State speech last week, separating her from other city lawmakers, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, who have largely refused to criticize the plan.
Ever since Brooklyn College’s political science department made the controversial decision to co-sponsor a forum promoting BDS–boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel–New York City’s elected officials have thoroughly condemned them and even hinted that the publicly-funded institution could suffer financial consequences as a result. At a press conference today on Hurricane Sandy relief, however, Mayor Michael Bloomberg passionately defended the university’s right to sponsor the event.
“I couldn’t disagree more violently with BDS,” Mr. Bloomberg explained. “As you know, I’m a big supporter of Israel–as big of a one as I think you can find in the city. But I could also not agree more strongly with an academic department’s right to sponsor a forum on any topic that they choose. If you want to go to a university where the government decides what kind of subjects are fit for discussion, I suggest you apply to a school in North Korea.”
President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign has officially gone there.
In an ad released this morning, Mr. Obama takes Republican rival Mitt Romney to task for wanting to take the ax to Sesame Street‘s federal funding in a rather sarcastic fashion.
“Criminals, gluttons of greed,” the narrator stated after ticking off a list of Wall Street crooks. “And the evil genius who towered over them? One man has the guts to speak his name.”
Earlier this week, Congressman Michael Grimm proudly announced a $3 million annual increase in federal spending to the Richmond University Medical Center. However, the funding appears to have come from the health care reform bill that Mr. Grimm adamantly opposes and voted to repeal.
“I have worked tirelessly, from day one, to address the issue of a looming physician shortage,” Mr. Grimm said a statement touting the new funding. “[T]his announcement to reward RUMC with additional residency slots is welcomed news.”
The Staten Island Advance echoed this sentiment, reporting Mr. Grimm “helped the hospital obtain the cash.”
The Graduated Medical Education funding in question, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services website, actually appears to have come from the Affordable Care Act. Sure enough, in a spreadsheet posted on the site listing the GME funding increases from Section 5506 of the bill, RUMC’s provider number, 330028, is listed as receiving 31.44 extra slots for new medical residents, the exact amount, rounded up, as the 32 slots Mr. Grimm announced.
However, Mr. Grimm voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would have removed the 5506 funding.