Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced his candidacy for governor on Saturday first in a web video and then in a historic setting in Lower Manhattan. He pledged to lead an army of concerned citizens to take back state government for the people of New York.
Standing under a canopy of maples near the Tweed Courthouse--now home to the Department of Education--Cuomo sounded a passionate populist tone with a rhetorical flourish not unlike his father, former Governor Mario Cuomo, who was by his side along with other members of the Cuomo clan.
"Albany's antics could make Boss Tweed blush," Cuomo told the cheering crowd, referring to the 19th century New York politician whose name has become synonymous with politican corruption. The Attorney General took aim at what he said was a culture of corruption and greed that had effectively brought the state government to a dysfunctional standstill.
At some points his analysis sounded more liberitarian than mainstream liberal Democrat. He spoke of re-inventing and reforming a state government that now was made up "of 1,000 state agencies". He called for a property tax cap and for taking a hard look at the proliferation of what he said was now 10,000 local governmental entities, including state authorities and special districts.
"We need to do it without raising taxes," Cuomo said.
"New Yorkers are imprisioned in their homes," he said" "They can't afford the property taxes and they can't afford to sell their home either."
Cuomo did not take questions from reporters. He is expected to have a press conference tomorrow in New York City.