The sun was shining, the crowds were cheering and the politicians waving as New York City’s annual Pride March was held Sunday. Once a small protest on the political fringe, the Pride March is now decidedly in the mainstream of New York politics. This year’s edition featured many elected officials and candidates, including Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Senator Chuck Schumer and mayoral candidates Paul Massey and Bo Dietl.
It was a regular Cuomo/de Blasio affair, with the two leading Democrats arriving separately and taking pains to avoid each other. Governor Cuomo delayed his arrival until the March began, rolling up 34th Street in his SUV to the parade route just as his marching contingent came down Fifth Avenue to 34th. Cuomo then held a brief press Q&A as his contingent stood still, blocking the parade route for Mayor de Blasio and the rest of the March.
Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey has never spoken with Governor Andrew Cuomo and doesn’t have an assessment of the governor’s 6+ years in office. That’s the summary of Massey’s lengthy response this afternoon when I asked about his relationship with, and assessment of, Cuomo.
The relationship between any governor and New York City mayor is important, with state law delineating the City’s power and authority and state government cooperation and/or approval needed for much of what any New York City mayor seeks to do. Massey regularly criticizes Mayor de Blasio for the infamously poor state of his relationship with Cuomo and pledges to be “supportive” and “work cooperatively” with Cuomo. That may well occur should Massey be elected, but there’s no established relationship or history to support those predictions. It’s worth noting that a long prior relationship is not assurance of a smooth governor/mayor relationship in office: de Blasio and Cuomo were once fond of mentioning that they’ve been “friends for 20 years.”
Here’s our full exchange this afternoon during a press conference focused on Massey’s proposal for modifying the G train route during a planned shutdown of the L train:
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s political focus skipped ahead a year as he and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi hosted a rally focused on 2018 House of Representatives elections. Tuesday afternoon saw Cuomo turn away from more immediate concerns, such as the looming end of the state legislative session and the 2017 election that will include a New York City mayoral election and a statewide ballot question of whether to convene a state constitutional convention. Instead he joined six current New York Democratic House members, former Rep. Charles B. Rangel and former Rep. (and current Lieutenant Governor) Kathy Hochul in urging a crowd of 500 or so to work toward electing a Democratic House majority in 2018. Continue reading Cuomo Skips Ahead→
Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis has a generally positive view of Governor Andrew Cuomo, although she’s dismissive of his recent attempt to distance himself from the MTA. Speaking Saturday during a visit to a reelection fundraiser held by Council Member Eric Ulrich, Malliotakis included several criticisms of Mayor Bill de Blasio in her comments on Cuomo and the MTA. Continue reading Malliotakis On Cuomo & MTA→
Writer Jimmy Breslin, whose outrage at societal wrongs and interest in people combined in a novelized reporting style that powerfully captured the New York of his era, was memorialized in a funeral Wednesday at the Upper West Side’s Church of the Blessed Sacrament. Among the several hundred mourners were several Cuomos, including Governor Andrew, broadcaster Chris and their mother Matilda. Contemporaries Mario Cuomo and Breslin had a decades-long close relationship, which Andrew Cuomo movingly described in his eulogy.
Mourners included Tony Bennett, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Bo Dietl, former NYC council speaker Chris Quinn, former NYC council member Robert Jackson and NY Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Lieberman.
Andrew Cuomo spoke briefly with reporters after the funeral:
Cameras were not permitted inside the church during the funeral, so our photos were shot as mourners departed. Our full photo gallery is here.
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade, New York City’s annual celebration of all things Irish, featured numerous politicians marching up Fifth Avenue Friday. Among the biggest political names were Mayor Bill de Blasio, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Irish Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny. Political parade traditions include a stop to greet Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of the New York Diocese, as he watches the parade from a perch in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Governor Andrew Cuomo cruised into the Javits Center this afternoon, speaking at a brief opening ceremony for the annual boat show. Cuomo, a self-described enthusiastic boater and fisherman, is a regular at the boat show.
Cuomo’s brief remarks touched on his own love of boating, with a few cracks about hosting his daughters’ dates on boat trips and his brother Chris’s fishing skills. He also spoke of the economic contributions of the boating industry. Cuomo did not take any press questions, going on a “private tour” of the boat show immediately after the opening ceremony. Notwithstanding that the boat show was open to the public, Cuomo’s staff sought to prevent members of the press from accompanying him as he walked the floor.
Governor Andrew Cuomo began a three day, six speech tour today, replacing the traditional State of The State address in Albany with a roving series of regional appearances. He spoke today to an invited audience of approximately 200 on the 64th floor of 1 World Trade Center. Far above any protesters or discordant views Cuomo’s 40 minute speech provided an array of new programs and funding, a congratulatory look at his six years in office and an outline of how Cuomo may seek a prominent national role during the Trump presidency.
Governor Andrew Cuomo offered interesting introductions of some political friends and frenemies today. As he began his State of the State tour today in Manhattan Cuomo noted the presence of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (“doing great work with us, please stand”), Comptroller Tom DiNapoli (“doing a great job”), NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio (“let’s give him a round of applause”) and NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer (“doing a magnificent job”). He’s had significant friction with Schneiderman, although they’ve had a much more cooperative relationship in the past 18 month, a fraught relationship with DiNapoli since Cuomo was attorney general and a dizzyingly difficult relationship with de Blasio.
Perhaps due to an apparent cold/sore throat, Governor Cuomo also referred to “Cardinal O’Connor” when thanking Cardinal Dolan for offering a blessing before Cuomo took the stage.
Governor Andrew Cuomo continued his Second Avenue subway pre-opening tour Thursday, with a preview of the 96th Street station. Trains are not yet running, but the station is close to completion ahead of the expected January 1st opening. Governor Cuomo, who effectively controls the MTA, has been on active round of site visits and unveilings as the line extension moves toward completion. Cuomo was joined by local elected officials, including Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Congressman Charles B. Rangel and his successor State Senator Adriano Espaillat, Assembly Keith Wright, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Council Member Dan Garodnick. Mayor de Blasio did not attend.
Cuomo and Maloney along with MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast spoke to an audience jammed into the station entrance and did a walk-through of the station.
New York State’s Electoral College convened Monday, casting its 29 votes for New York’s home state candidate Hillary Clinton. Led by former president Bill Clinton, the electors met in the majestic state senate chamber at the Capitol for a tightly scripted session without any disruption or deviation. Clinton’s New York victory, expected to be a foundational bloc for her winning campaign, was instead a cruel coda to the disorienting election night experience of an anticipated presidency suddenly vanishing. There were some smiles and applause in the senate chamber Monday, but it wasn’t a celebration. Like a jilted groom recasting the pre-paid reception as a party, New York Democrats could cheer their own victories and predominance in their state but the overriding feeling was the last-minute loss of something so much bigger.
Former President Clinton and Governor Andrew Cuomo were the stars of the show, with Cuomo presiding as president of the convention. They entered the senate chamber together to a standing ovation, after all of the other electors and spectators had taken their seats, later rising to cast their ballots together. Cuomo lauded Clinton during his closing remarks, drawing a standing ovation for the former president.
Will the anger and discontent fueling Donald Trump’s presidential campaign energize a “yes” vote in next year’s ballot question of whether to convene a New York State constitutional convention?
First, some background. Article XIX of the New York State Constitution provides for a ballot question every twenty years of whether to convene a constitutional convention, often referred to as a “ConCon,” with the next such vote set for 2017. If a simple majority vote yes on convening a convention, delegates to a convention will be elected in November 2018 and the convention will convene in April 2019. Voters rejected conventions in 1997 and 1977. Voters did approve a convention in 1965 (on the ballot pursuant to a statutory mandate from the legislature) and it was held in 1967, although voters later rejected the revised constitution produced by that convention.
A convention has the authority to rewrite any part of, or the entire, state constitution, but any changes take effect only if subsequently approved by voters in a statewide election. It’s an alluring prospect to many, offering a chance for a favored change stymied by the governor and/or legislature as well as offering the possibility of a broad reshaping of state government. In reality though, the prospect of a convention has generated strong organized opposition from public employee unions, who rightly fear removal of the constitutional prohibition on reducing state employee pensions, and ultimately fallen to the fear of possible excess by a convention free to radically rewrite the Constitution.
Today’s Columbus Day Parade featured New York’s two most prominent Italian-American politicians, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio. Consistent with their general practice they marched separately. (In an unusual occurrence they marched together last month in the Labor Day Parade.)
Arriving for the start of the parade, Cuomo held a brief press gaggle and then marched with the leaders of the parade organizer, the Columbus Citizens Foundation. Cuomo ignored his own parade contingent, a group that included several elected officials and union leaders marching behind a “State of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo” banner and accompanied by a soundtruck. Cuomo waved to the crowd but only approached spectators and shook hands as he was departing. He departed midway through the parade route, after greeting Cardinal Dolan at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Continue reading Columbus Day Parade (Updated)→
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