Published in
The Empire

Headline: News media blasts Machiavellian Cuomo, public checks wallets

Just wanted to highlight something that, in my opinion, is an important reality that the press deals with when covering the Cuomo administration. The tax reform blitzkrieg the Governor waged in Albany this week drew cries of opaqueness and hypocrisy from the press throughout the state.

But as Capital New York's superlatively special correspondent Jimmy Vielkind points out in a Q-and-A with Capital's editor and co-founder Josh Benson, the view from the ground is much nicer than among the airy media class.

Josh: ...The way this deal got done is about as far from Cuomo's stated ideal of transparency as it's possible to be. It makes a mockery of that particular pledge, actually.

But it happened fast. If the governor's calculation here was that the press and some legislators would scream about the lack of deliberation but that the public wouldn't care at all about the process angle, was he wrong? I mean, I ask this with an appropriately heavy heart and all, but have you seen any polls indicating that what people really want from Albany is more deliberation?

Jimmy: No. Our hearts can weigh heavy, but the polls won't capture it.

What people at home will see are a slight decrease in their taxes. They'll see reports of a federal government on the verge of shutdown. They'll see their stock portfolios suffer as the federal credit rating is downgraded. And then for once, after years of seeing their state government stalemated, they see ... stuff getting done.

You can check out the rest of the exchange here.