Governor Cuomo doesn't like medical marijuana. Governor Cuomo doesn't like debating. Governor Cuomo doesn't like his subordinates getting ahead of themselves. Governor Cuomo doesn't like campaigning. What does Governor Cuomo like? Winning, even if means fighting transparency or using women as a cynical political tool.
As the negative headlines piled up over the past few months, all that matters is Cuomo has $45 million in his reelection chest, an approval rating above 50%, and a relationship with the opposition party that helps him exercise enormous influence over the state legislature, and his challengers do not.
Capital New York tried to find out more about the outings at which Cuomo solicited that $45 million and the publication was jerked around for nearly six months. A Cuomo aide offered to let Capital's reporters examine some documents, but then rejected their FOIL request outright when Capital declined.
After Capital hired lawyers, Cuomo's administration said that despite their previous invitation to view certain documents, all the public documents are actually online. Capital's attorneys disagreed, and Cuomo finally agreed to release the schedules, but not before Robert Freeman, the head of the state's Committee On Open Government, issued his opinion on Cuomo's position:
A governor's participation in fund-raising activities, even though those activities may not be open to the general public, implicates that person's performance in office. The fact that he interacts with donors or potential donors is, therefore, a matter of public interest and concern.
Last week, Cuomo released an ad with his family touting the Women's Equality Party. The governor has been traveling the state in a tampon box with wheels, urging voters to cast their ballot to show Republican state senators the importance of passing his Women's Equality Act.
Because the WEP was founded by Governor Cuomo as a political cudgel. He thought about an education-related political party, or a "New Americans" party for immigrants rights, but women were a better fit.
In an email to Christine Quinn obtained by Capital, State Senator Liz Kruger points out how insulting this strategy truly is:
“Women are 54% of the voters in this state. When they vote on the Democratic line, Democrats win. I do not wish women to be relegated to some ‘non party.' We have earned the right to be leaders in our party—the Democratic Party,” Krueger wrote.
“When under 50,000 people vote on W.E.P. [the amount needed to be guaranteed a space on the ballot next year], the opposition can say: ‘See, out of 4.2 million voters, only a few thousand give a damn about women's equality. So nobody has to care,’" she said. “If over 50,000 people vote W.E.P., the Democrats will have helped siphon voters away from themselves for the future and it will weaken the role of women as leadership in the Democratic Party.”
The most serious concession the WFP got out of Cuomo for their endorsement was for him to stop making deals with Senate Republicans and to actually help get members of his own party elected. How's that going?
Mr. Cuomo was not effusive in talking up Ms. Esposito’s candidacy, either. When he acknowledged her presence, he spoke for only 10 seconds.
“We have Adrienne Esposito,” the governor said as he acknowledged the special guests at the rally. “I want you to join me in making sure we change her name in January to Senator Adrienne Esposito.”
The previous Saturday, when Mr. Cuomo held a similar rally in Rochester, he barely mentioned the Democrat whose district he was visiting, Ted O’Brien, who is one of the Senate’s most endangered incumbents.
Yes, the Senate Republicans, the people who blocked the passage of the Women's Equality Act the first time, thanks in part to Cuomo's refusal to veto a bill gerrymandering their districts, must be very frightened:
A spokeswoman for Mr. Croci, Christine Geed, responded to the Mr. Cuomo’s endorsement of Ms. Esposito by offering an argument favored by many Republicans: Having both parties share power in Albany, she maintained, is a good thing for voters.
“The governor and the Republican majority have worked very well together in the past,” Ms. Geed said. “We know that it’s a relationship that would certainly work in the future.”