Fred Dicker Tag All blog entries tagged as Fred Dicker Tue, 22 Jul 2014 09:57:42 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Cuomo Talks Corruption

Following a week littered with indicments and arrests of state legislators and their cronies, Gov. Andrew Cuomo took to the airwaves to talk reform.

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Cuomo didn't get into specific fixes today, but floated the targets of possible reform — Wilson Pakula, the enforcement wing of the state Board of Elections and cross-party endorsements. “These are crises, but they’re also opportunities,” Cuomo said. He added that he would want to "pull back the lens and do as much as we can."

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RELATED: For a look at Cuomo's previous efforts to fight legislative corruption and what others think can be done to fight it, check out today's stoy: "Can Anything Be Done About Corruption in Albany?"

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Cuomo also took time on Susan Arbetter's Capitol Pressroom to address Fred Dicker's latest column in The Post that said Cuomo is plotting to use recent scandals to overthrow Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Cuomo and Dicker used to be two peas in a pod with Cuomo appearing regularly on Dicker's show to float ideas until Dicker began attacking Cuomo for a more liberal agenda.

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“I’m a partner to Assembly Speaker Silver, I’m a partner to Dean Skelos and Sen. Klein on the other side. But it is wholly up to the legislative bodies to select a leader,” Cuomo said. “I would never even for a moment try to influence that decision. And, again, in this case I don’t see what the Speaker had to do with any of these purely personal individual acts by two Assembly people.”

]]> (David Howard King) State Mon, 08 Apr 2013 16:09:50 +0000
Cuomo Pooh-Poohs IDC, Special Session “If Amedore wins, then the whole IDC thing would be irrelevant,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo told the New York Post's Fred Dicker today.

Cuomo was refering to the breakaway faction of Democrats, the Independent Democratic Conference led by Sen. Jeff Klein, that announced it was joining the Senate Republicans earlier this year to form a bipartisan coalition.

But, as Cuomo noted, if Assembly George Amedore's victory over Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk holds up then the bipartisan coalition might not really amount to much because Demcoratic Sen.- elect Simcha Felder from Brooklyn decided to caucus with Republicans before the IDC made its deal.

There has been quite a lot of fuss made over Cuomo's connection to the power-sharing agreement with some folks, with some accusing the popular governor of orchestrating it himself. Cuomo even issued a "litmus test" to show that he was focused on issues and not party politics. The Senate Democrats have even switched leaders, which some says is ploy to lure the IDC members back into the fold in case their relationship with the Republicans doesn't last.

The IDC has been rather defensive, if not touchy, about their relationship with Republican Senators – especially in the wake of a new focus on gun control legislation.

Speaking of gun control legislation, Cuomo told Dicker the only thing happening in the next few days is "Christmas."

Cuomo was addressing are reports that he is in a major hurry to pass stronger gun laws before other states and even the feds can react legislatively to the Sandy Hook shootings. Cuomo did say that he is focused on tightening the state's assault weapons ban. He said the current law has "more holes than Swiss cheese.”

]]> (David Howard King) State Thu, 20 Dec 2012 16:57:46 +0000
Cuomo the Puppet Master?

Gov. Andrew Cuomo devoted a bit of time this morning on Fred Dicker's Talk 1300 radio show to insisting that the powersharing agreement between the Senate Republicans and Independent Senate Democrats has nothing to do with him:

It’s not my job to determine who is a committee chairman, who gets the office in the corner, and what political alliances are. My job is to pass legislation that makes a difference for the people of this state.

But there are many in Albany who don't buy Cuomo's claims. You can pretty safely put The Times Union's columnist Fred LeBrun at the top of that list.

In a column titled "A Puppet Master at Work," LeBrun seems to take some joy out of what he considers Cuomo's duplicity:

It is thoroughly amusing to watch the governor, whose operatives have orchestrated this goofy arrangement, sit back professorially and say he will judge the coalition only after he sees it in action as far as taking up legislation is concerned, and whether his "progressive" agenda is advanced, and on what it actually passes. Also that he will withhold judgment on the validity of the coalition until then. He even goes so far as to question how it possibly can get anything done, but just maybe.

LeBrun explains that Cuomo was "caught flat-flooted" by the Senate Democrat's success at the polls:

This is not the result they anticipated, or could tolerate.

So, thanks to the governor's chief political henchman working feverishly behind the scenes with a dissident bunch of Democrats calling themselves independents and the stunned Republicans, a "a bipartisan governing coalition" was hatched.

But that certainly isn't the story Cuomo is telling. He told Dicker this morning:

A governor’s job is not to involve himself or herself in the internal power dynamic or the leadership of the Legislature.

He went on to say:

This is an internal Democratic dispute. Jeff Klein is a Democrat, Sampson is a Democrat, Gianaris is a Democrat. This is among Democrats. This is not really about Republicans. This is a schism within the Democrats.

So, somehow this string of backroom deals that put Republicans back in charge of a chamber that it looks like they numerically should no longer control had nothing to do with Cuomo — and also have nothing to do with the Senate Republicans, who Cuomo has worked with so closely to pass his fairly conservative fiscal policy.

Photo of Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a recent cabinet meeting. Photo provided by the Governor's Office.

]]> (David Howard King) State Mon, 10 Dec 2012 17:26:13 +0000
Cuomo Floats Yet Another Idea for Special Session Past Fred Dicker

Gov. Andrew Cuomo took to his official radio show this morning to have host Fred Dicker vet his latest policy ideas, including possible reforms to the state's ethics panel. Cuomo said he wants a,“campaign finance reform special session, and a JOPE reform special session.”

JCOPE was signed into law last Summer and only started functioning this past winter and yet reforming the organization is already on tap.

Cuomo has been floating a series of ideas for a special session of the state Legislature that is expected to take place in November, including pay raises for legislators even though legislators are doing their best to convey just how horrible an idea they think pay raises would be.

Other possible ideas include a minimum wage hike, making the Legislature subject to Freedom of Information Laws, strengthening gun laws, decriminalizing certain amounts of marijuana and somehow reforming public financing of campaigns.

“We have a legislative agenda that has not been passed, which is the priority for me,” Cuomo said earlier this month at a graduation of the newest class of State Troopers. “If there is an opportunity for the Legislature to act, I’m going to be looking for them to act on the people’s agenda. I understand they may have an interest in a pay raise. I’m interested in a people’s agenda and that’s what the session would be about.“

Cuomo has spent successive Thursday mornings regailing the New York Post's state government editor with possible policy positions relating to the rumored special session. The Thursday morning radio show hosted by The New York Post's state government editor has long been Cuomo's favorite venue for floating policy balloons and then gauging public reaction.

The show has become such a fixture that the governor's offcial website now features an alert at the top of the homepage telling people to tune in to the station.

]]> (David Howard King) State Thu, 25 Oct 2012 16:35:47 +0000