In a somewhat contentious exchange Mayor Bill de Blasio refused to engage directly on a press question concerning the apparent frictions in his relationship with Governor Andrew Cuomo. Asked about a Daily News report describing him as “at his ‘wits end'” over the “harsh treatment” administered by Governor Cuomo, de Blasio sought to dismiss any interest in “the personalities” as misguided. de Blasio suggested that he’s not concerned with it. He went to list a variety of issues that he’s agreed with the governor, as well as some substantial issues he’s disagreed with the governor on. (In an unusual moment de Blasio praised former governor Eliot Spitzer’s school funding adjustments and lamented the current school aid calculations.)
Difficulties in the Cuomo/de Blasio relationship have been readily apparent since de Blasio took office. The City’s existence as a political subdivision of the state possessing only those powers granted to it by the state ensures a tension between the state and city chief executives, but there’s a personal element involved as well. Governor Cuomo is loath to yield political and decision-making power to anyone, including his former subordinate.
Last week de Blasio reacted to Cuomo’s prediction that their governor/mayor relationship will be the “best in modern political history” with a broad smile.
Here’s what de Blasio had to say today: