May 28, 2019

Meanwhile Back in Albany (v31)

Nathaniel Brooks/NY Times photo
With the Legislature still home for the Memorial Day weekend, you can be sure our legislators' thoughts are focused on things like getting through the last couple of weeks of the session, and figuring out how to make it look like they're putting in full work weeks even though there's no legislating going on for the rest of the year.

And now that they've gotten their big raise, some of them need to figure out how to get their outside income at or below the 15% of base salary cap that came with the raise.

Meanwhile, back in Albany, as we say, our Sonofa Gov is making headlines on a radio interview. Take a look:
Gov. Andrew Cuomo plans to seek a fourth term as governor of New York state, he disclosed Tuesday. During an interview on WAMC radio, Cuomo said he believes he is making a difference in New York and plans to run again in 2022. 
Yep, he wants to stick around and is not planning on a 2024 run for president, if we read between the lines here.
I have been in the federal government. I was a cabinet secretary... I was in Washington for eight years. I believe I'm making a difference in the state of New York. I believe that in my heart. 
I think I'm doing good things... I believe I know how to do this (note: being governor). I would like to do it for as long as the people of the state of New York believe I am a positive.
Only Nelson Rockefeller won a fourth 4-year term; Cuomo's father and George Pataki each also served three terms. I did not know that at one point the term was only three years -- and George Clinton served seven of those.

There was no question that Cuomo was up to something, given that there was some sort of secret fundraiser back in March, during budget season (egad!) that never made it to his public calendar. The fundraiser cost I think a minimum of $5,000 to attend, got attendees a speech from Cuomo, some filet mignon, and a chance to chat with a couple senior staffers, as well as others who are like you -  people or organizations with business before the state - and not with people like me, who can't begin to afford that kind of night on the town, and even if we could, most of us wouldn't.

When asked about the fundraiser, he initially played coy, noting that the money "was raised by state limits, so it wouldn't be applicable to run for a federal race" and also saying "it was state money raised for a re-election" and "well, I did a fundraiser for a political committee that would fund my re-election effort" before finally coming out and saying he was running. That announcement flew under the radar, compared to today's.

He took some heat for the fundraiser from members of his own party, including NYC-area Senators Alessandra Biaggi, Jessica Ramos, and Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou. Biaggi noted
It's hypocritical. It's impossible to say that a $25,000 ticket is not influencing the decisions at arguably the most important time of our entire legislative session.
Cuomo defended his fundraiser, noting (as he previously did with his massive LLC fundraising) that what he does is within the law. And, he offered that his critics were hypocrites because, of course, everyone has fundraisers during the legislative session.  (I mean, who would have one when the legislature wasn't in session?)

Finally, he couldn't help himself and had to add a zinger of sorts - or what counts for one, I guess, offering
You have some new legislators. You can bring your own political views. but you can't bring your own facts. 
Where does all of this lead us?  If the Sonofa Gov is starting now raising funds for 2022, the Republicans better get busy finding a candidate who not only can articulate a platform (that's a huge concern) but one who can print raise money like nobody's business.

And, the Dems have to find a primary challenger who can push Cuomo towards... well, towards something, I guess. It would be hard for him to be more progressive, and being more progressive would make him ever further out of touch with the rest of us.

And it's almost impossible to find a Dem who would look to the center of the political spectrum, much less the center of the state, for moderate, bipartisan inspiration...

I'm not holding out hope on either party, but boy, I'd love to be proven wrong.

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